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  • Writer's pictureTemara Willis

Parenting Plan Consent Orders in Australia: DIY the Pros and Cons

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

Legal document representing Parenting Plan Consent Orders in Australia, providing insights into the DIY approach – the pros and cons.

Separation or divorce often comes with complex parenting challenges, and many turn to Adelaide Family Mediation to craft parenting plans that serve the best interests of all parties involved. But what comes next? After reaching a mutual agreement, parents may seek to formalise their arrangements legally.

There are a few ways to go about this process. In Australia, the Family Court provides a DIY Consent Order Kit, allowing parents to create their own consent orders. While this option offers convenience and cost-effectiveness, it has advantages and disadvantages. Let's delve deeper into these aspects.

The Pros of the DIY Consent Order Kit:

  1. Cost-Effective - Engaging legal professionals can be costly. The DIY Consent Order Kit can significantly reduce legal fees, making it a more affordable option for parents.

  2. Flexibility - The DIY kit allows you to tailor the consent orders to reflect changing circumstances. You can amend the orders as life evolves, provided both parties agree.

  3. Timeliness - Preparing your consent orders can expedite the process. You won't need to wait for legal appointments, saving time and potentially reducing stress.

  4. Empowerment - Involvement in drafting the consent orders empowers parents to take ownership of their parenting arrangement, fostering open communication and collaboration.

The Cons of the DIY Consent Order Kit:

  1. Complex Legal Language - Legal terminology and nuances in consent orders can be confusing for individuals without legal backgrounds, potentially leading to unintended consequences.

  2. Lack of Legal Advice - DIY kits do not offer legal advice or expertise. Qualified family lawyers can identify potential pitfalls and suggest provisions benefiting both parties and the children.

  3. Potential Inequities - Lack of legal guidance may result in an uneven distribution of parental responsibilities and rights, impacting the children's well-being and the arrangement.

  4. Incompatibility with Court Standards - Consent orders not meeting legal standards may be rejected by the court, causing delays and additional costs. A lawyer can ensure your orders comply with court requirements.

Tips for Effective Use of the DIY Consent Order Kit:

  1. Educate Yourself - Familiarise yourself with the kit, legal terms, and guidelines provided by the Family Court.

  2. Research - Study sample consent orders and parenting plans to better understand typical inclusions.

  3. Consult a Lawyer - While preparing your consent orders, consulting a family lawyer for advice and review before submission is wise.

  4. Thoroughness - Ensure all aspects of the parenting arrangement are comprehensively covered to minimise future disputes.

  5. Clarity - Use clear and unambiguous language in consent orders to prevent misunderstandings.

Utilising the DIY Consent Order Kit offered by the Family Court of Australia can be attractive for parents who have successfully mediated a parenting plan. It offers cost savings, customisation, and empowerment. However, it's essential to acknowledge the potential challenges of the DIY approach, such as legal complexities and the absence of professional guidance. Striking a balance between the benefits and risks and seeking legal consultation where needed can help you navigate the process effectively and ensure the best outcome for both you and your children. Adelaide Family Mediation is here to provide further support and guidance as you move forward in your parenting journey.

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