Separation and divorce is hard no matter what the situation, but going through a separation when you have kids is even harder. In addition to protecting your children’s emotional health throughout the process, you must also deal with the heart-wrenching decision of deciding the parenting arrangements.
In some cases, you and your ex may be able to amicably sort out a parenting arrangement. However, if you’re unable to agree on a parenting plan, the parenting order will be decided by the court. Once the order has been finalised, you and your ex will be expected to comply with the order.
Parenting Order Obligations
As with any court order, a parenting order must be followed and carried out to its full extent. This means that every stipulation, every instruction, and every limitation when it comes to parenting arrangements must be performed in accordance with the order. Simply put, once the court finalises your parenting order, you’ll have a black and white list of obligations you need to fulfil to avoid penalties and parenting restrictions. To ensure the best outcome for everyone involved, take the following actions:
- Take positive action to ensure that the order is followed by all sides. Rather than passively hoping that everyone involved is following the order, you need to actively take precautions to ensure it. This includes encouraging your children to follow the parenting arrangements, even when they don’t agree with them. If they refuse to attend contact or communicate with your ex during the allotted time, you could be accused of disregarding the order.
- Understand relocation limitations. If your parenting order states that your ex or a third party (grandparents, etc.) has the right to act as legal guardian, live with, spend time with, or communicate on a regular basis with your child, then it is illegal for you to take that child out of the country. Unless you have an order from the court or the written consent of the other parties in the order, breaking this order could lead to a severe imprisonment penalty.
- Understand how and when the order may change. Parenting orders remain in full force until a new parenting order is made by the court or a parenting plan is agreed and put into writing by the parties. Even if you and your ex discuss changes due to different needs or changing circumstances, the original order applies until it is legally changed or updated by the court.
When following a parenting order it is extremely important that you understand your obligations and follow them to the letter. Otherwise, even the slightest deviation could cause your ex to file a breach application, which could land you in serious trouble. However, on the flip-side, if your ex disregards the order then you can take the appropriate steps to resolve the issue.
For more information on parenting order obligations and rules, please feel free to contact us at (08) 9214 3887, or fill out our contact form to make an appointment. We’re here to help you get through your separation and divorce as painlessly as possible. Call now and allow us help your children as well.