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In this video, OMB Solicitors Partner and Accredited Specialist in Family Law Abbi Golightly discusses the next steps to take after reaching an agreement in relation to living arrangements for your children.


Hi, I’m Abbi Golightly, partner at OMB Solicitors and an accredited specialist in family law. So you’ve reached an agreement in relation to the living arrangements for your children. The next step is how you document that agreement.

When it comes to the arrangements for your children, there are two options for you in relation to documenting that agreement. There is a parenting plan or there are consent orders. There are differences, pros and cons between each way of formalisation.

In relation to parenting plans, they are a more informal type of agreement, they are able to be simply modified by you and the other parent by entering into another parenting plan.

By definition, a parenting plan is simply a written agreement between the parents as to the living arrangements for their child or children, and as such, they carry with them less formality than a consent order. A consent order, by its name, is an order of the court.

It is made after the parents apply to the court via an application for consent orders asking the court to approve the arrangements they have agreed upon for their children. As an order, it carries with it enforceability and significant consequences if there are breaches of it.

Whilst a parenting plan is not enforceable as an order of the court, if there are breaches of it and an application is made to the court, the court will consider the terms of the parenting plan when making a decision as to what is in the best interests of the child or the children.

So what type of agreement is best for you? That is really dependent on your circumstances and the relationship between you and your children’s other parent. If you would like some advice in relation to the best option for you to formalise your parenting arrangements, please contact us here at OMB Solicitors.

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