For a separating couple, there are two viable options to consider for parenting – Parenting Plan or Consent order. So, what is the difference between the two, and which is the better option?
What Is A Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan is basically a written agreement between parents, created to provide them a framework for parenting arrangements for their child/children. Most parenting plans focus on things such as the children’s living arrangements, time spent with each parent, special occasions, everyday parenting & daily care & how important decisions concerning the child/children’s wellbeing will be made.
A parenting plan is highly flexible, meaning you can make changes to it in the future, provided both parties agree to the proposed changes. So, if the circumstances change in the future & adjustments need to be made regarding the child/children’s care or living arrangements, the parents can discuss it & come to a mutual decision.
It should be noted that Parenting Plans are not legally binding. So, unless the separation has been amicable & there is no animosity or ill feelings between the two parties, a parenting plan may not be very effective.
What Is A Consent Order?
Unlike Parenting Plans, which are not enforceable by law, Consent Orders are a set of orders agreed to by both parents & made legally binding by the court. Consent Orders ensure that both parties hold up their side of the agreement, as failure to do so could lead to the court issuing penalties for breach of order.
A Consent Order is the best option in cases where a parent is concerned that the other party will not follow the stipulations of a parenting plan, or if the parents are unable to reach an agreement.
Which Option Should You Choose?
Whether you choose a Parenting Plan or Consent Orders will depend on every individuals circumstance. The difference between a Parenting Plan & a Consent Order is that while the former is made without the interference or guidance of the court system, the latter is managed by the Family Court.
Therefore, whether you opt for a Parenting Plan or a Consent Order, having an experienced family law professional by your side is very important. They will be able to advise & guide you at every stage of the process, overseeing the proceedings.
This article is published by https://platinumlawyers.com.au/