Following separation, there are four approaches that parents can take when setting up parenting arrangements for their children. Determining the best approach depends on several factors. If you have recently separated, answer the questions below to find out which approach might be suitable for your family. When answering, choose a single response that best describes your situation.
1. The communication between you and your ex is generally:
- Very good: we communicate regularly and easily and agree about most parenting matters;
- Good: we communicate when required and when we have differences, we work these out;
- Poor: we communicate mainly by text or email and struggle to resolve our differences;
- Non-existent: we are unable to communicate at all and disagree about everything.
2. The level of trust between you and your ex is generally:
- Very High: we keep our word and uphold our agreements;
- High: there have been a few minor issues with agreements not being followed;
- Low: there have been times when core agreements have not been followed;
- Very Low: there is no agreement to uphold.
3. Describe your preference regarding the structure for parenting arrangements:
- Very Low: flexibility and being able to change arrangements as needed is a high priority;
- Low: routine has a place but the ability to make changes to arrangements is more important;
- High: routine is important and the ability to make changes should be limited;
- Very High: consistency and certainty are very important.
Mostly A’s: A verbal agreement may be the suitable arrangement for your family.
Mostly B’s: A parenting plan may be the preferred pathway for your family .
Mostly C’s: A consent order may be the best option for your family.
Mostly D’s: A parenting order made by the court may be what is needed for your family. While the above may be a starting point in understanding which parenting arrangement may work well for your family, it does not represent legal advice. In our next editorial, we will go into more detail about each parenting arrangement option.
In the meantime, if you would like legal advice about parenting arrangements or other family law matters you can call (07) 3548 5868 for a free 20 minute phone consultation with one of our family lawyers.
By Carolyn Devries, New Way Lawyers