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Parenting Matters

We’re Here to Offer Support & Guidance

We understand the difficulty you’re going through; separation is difficult especially when children are involved. We’re here to ensure you stay focused on the end game of making sure your children’s best interests are looked after. 

Our team can guide you through the process and provide honest & direct advice to get you the best result possible.

If you’re going through a separation or divorce, with children involved you may need assistance with one of the following:

  • Family Dispute Resolution
  • Consent Orders
  • Parenting Plans
  • Paternity Test Matters
  • Child Support Arrangements   

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR)

Our lawyers can assist you with Family Dispute Resolution. During your initial consultation, we will explain the process to you and find out what you want to achieve. We will explain your rights and provide you with professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

One of our family law experts will attend the Family Dispute Resolution appointment with you and negotiate on your behalf.

It’s important to note that if you’re wanting to apply for Parenting Orders from a Court, you must attend Family Dispute Resolution first.  You need to show the Court you’ve tried to come to a mutual agreement with the other parent, prior to going to court.

If an agreement is reached, we can apply for Consent Orders. Alternatively, if you don’t want to apply for Consent Orders, we can draft a Parenting Plan however, please note, a Parenting Plan is not binding.

Consent Orders 

Consent orders are a legal agreement made between two parties which can relate to parenting or property matters, or both. These orders are lodged and endorsed by a Court. 

Our experienced team will assist you in preparing, drafting, and lodging your Parenting Consent Orders with the Court. After your Family Dispute Resolution appointment has been finalized, we will discuss the Consent Order process step by step, so you understand the proceedings ahead.

What Court Considers in Parenting Orders

When making parenting orders, the Court must consider what is in the best interests of the child.

The main considerations include:  

  • the child having a meaningful relationship with both of their parents and;  
  • the need to protect the child from physical & psychological harm.  

To view the Family Court Parenting Proceedings Timeline, click here.

Parenting Plans

A parenting plan is designed to outline the care arrangements of your child. These plans must be made in the best interests of your children. As your children grow up, and their needs change your parenting plan may need to be updated.  

Parenting Plan’s will generally cover the following:  

  • Parental responsibility
  • Child’s living arrangements 
  • Child support  

Unlike Consent Orders, a Parenting Plan isn’t enforceable by a Court.

Child Support Arrangements

Child support is financial support designed to assist with the cost of raising your children paid for by a parent or parents.   

The team can assist you with any of the following matters:  

  • Changes of assessment (in special circumstances)  
  • Appeals to Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)   
  • Application for departure orders – requesting to change the amount of child support paid or received.  

We will provide you with expert advice, and a step-by-step plan to ensure you’re receiving or paying the correct amount of Child Support for your children.

Paternity Test Matters 

Paternity testing is a DNA test designed to determine the biological parents of a child. This is a common test completed when a parent is claiming child support from the other parent.  

You can only make an application to the Court if there is reasonable doubt about the child’s paternity. The law allows the Court to make a paternity testing order at the request of a party in any family law matter. The family Court can then make Court Orders, and the test confirms the paternity of the child. 

If you need assistance with a Paternity Test Matter one of our team can assist you.  

We believe it’s important to try to settle parenting matters in an amicable way – if possible. We understand this is not possible, however we suggest to clients to explore all their options prior to proceeding court. 

Our family law team can assist you with any parenting matter you require. Contact our team today, to see how we can assist you.  

Our Family Law Blogs and Podcasts


Parenting Orders are legally binding court orders that determine the rights and responsibilities of parents in relation to their children. These orders outline important aspects such as where the child will live, who they will spend time with, and how major decisions regarding their welfare will be made. These orders set out the arrangements for… Read More »Parenting Orders


If you’re going through a separation or divorce, sorting out your financial affairs is often one of the biggest challenges. You want to make sure that everything is settled fairly and legally, providing security for both parties involved. One common way to achieve this is through a binding financial agreement or a consent order. But… Read More »Binding Financial Agreement vs Consent Orders


When dealing with a property settlement one of the first things your lawyer will ask you to do is compile your financial disclosure. So, what is it, and why is it important? The most obvious answer is your financial disclosure is everything related to your current financial position. Think bank statements, tax returns and payslips.… Read More »Understanding Financial Disclosure


The Benefits of Mediation When conflicts arise in a relationship breakdown, they can be timely, pricey, and stressful. Alternative Dispute Resolution processes such as mediation can assist you to reach an agreement without having to resort to going to Court for property or parenting-related matters. What is Mediation? Mediation in its fundamental nature, is a… Read More »The Benefits of Mediation


What is a Binding Financial Agreement? A Binding Financial Agreement (a ‘BFA’ for short), is a legal document that outlines the financial arrangements between two parties in the event of a relationship breakdown. This agreement can be entered into before, during, or after a marriage, de facto relationship, or civil partnership. It provides clarity and… Read More »Binding Financial Agreement


What Are Consent Orders? Consent orders are an essential aspect of the legal landscape, particularly in family law matters. They provide a mutually agreed upon solution between parties involved, without the need for prolonged court battles. The Role of Consent Orders in Family Law Consent orders play a vital role in family law matters as… Read More »Consent Orders


Going Through a Separation or Divorce?  Going through a divorce or separation can be can a stressful and confusing time. You may find that everyone seems to have a horror story to tell or advice to give making it difficult to sort fact from fiction. No two separations are the same so it’s important to… Read More »Things to Know Prior to Separation


If you have recently separated or contemplating separation and there are children involved, then you’ve likely come across the term parental responsibility. In this podcast, PD Law Senior Associate and Family Lawyer, Elizabeth Smith, discusses what you need to know about parental responsibility in Australian Family Law.


The break-up of a marriage or de facto relationship is naturally one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. Apart from dealing with the emotional toll of the split and, in many cases, its effect on children from the relationship, the process of disentangling two lives in terms of property and assets can… Read More »How Do We Get to a Just and Equitable Division of Assets in a Family Law Property Settlement?


Suits and other law TV shows make going to court look so quick and easy. Makes for great TV but the reality is starkly different. Court can be brutal, drawn out and expensive – family law litigation particularly so. You don’t need to go to court to end your relationship or get the outcome you need.… Read More »Netflix has a lot to answer for………


We focus on: Cutting down on expense & emotional cost The resolution & not the battle Where possible, we prefer to stay out of Court, cutting down the expense and emotional cost, but when it’s necessary we can prepare urgent applications to the Court to protect your children or preserve your property rights. Reasons to… Read More »What Do You Want From Your Family Lawyer?


Separating? What Now? Going through a divorce or separation can be can a stressful and confusing time. You may find that everyone seems to have a horror story to tell or advice to give making it difficult to sort fact from fiction. No two separations are the same so it’s important to get the right… Read More »Things to do when you are separating from a partner


Ending a relationship can be stressful and it’s easy to get confused trying to work out what you need to do to protect yourself and your assets at such an emotional time in your life. To help offer some guidance, here’s some tips on things you should do, or consider, when you separate from your… Read More »Family Law – Going through a separation – what now?


When a relationship breaks down – who gets the kids?  As we come into the last few months of the year, family issues are heightened with financial pressure from having to buy the kids Christmas gifts, to sorting childcare arrangements over the holidays. At certain times this can lead to couples separating and possibly a… Read More »Family Law Seminar Series – 2


Separating? What happens now? PD Law are running a series of FREE Family Law Seminars in conjunction with the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre. The first of these will take place on Wednesday 7 September from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre. There is always a “grey” area when a couple first separates.  When you… Read More »Family Law Seminar Series


BINDING FINANCIAL AGREEMENTS (BFA) The beginning of a relationship is always an exciting time and in that moment it can be hard to imagine the possibility that things might not work out as planned. Unfortunately, with the realities of modern life, relationships do not always work out and often couples are left trying to deal… Read More »Before, during or after a relationship – any time is the right time to make a financial agreement