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parenting agreements

interpretions of


I am wanting to know if anyone is able to tell me the interpretation of a "Parenting Agreement". The reason I ask is my ex partner and I have been to mediation for the second time now and as a result we have another parenting agreement drawn up by a well known centre and agreed to by both of us. My ex partner did not abide by our previous agreement nor is he abiding by some aspects of our current agreement and as a result it is causing me a lot of stress and anxiety. I am fully aware that a "Parenting Agreement" is not a legally binding agreement but what is the purpose of having one if one party is going to continue to do as they please. He has pointed out that this is only an informal parenting arrangement to which he only agreed to at the time because he felt it was better than nothing.  I know I can do nothing to make him abide by the agreement that we have but I was curious to know what viewpoint the courts take in relation to Parenting agreements and whether they carry any weight or have any bearing on the decision that a magistrate may make also taking into consideration the conduct of each party and their ability to abide by the agreement even though it's not a legally binding agreement. Is it still the best option to just continue to do the right thing and uphold my end of the agreement even though he isn't Sometimes it feels as though he is doing everything wrong and is getting away with it with no repercussions, it just makes me wonder what do you gain by doing the right thing, it doesn't seem to guarantee the outcome one hopes for

parenting agreements

Hi ineedtono,

The statement that parenting agreements are not enforceable by the courts is correct. They are an agreement between parents regarding the arrangements for the children, supposedly made in good faith. The purpose of the arrangements is an attempt to keep child related matters out of the courts if they can be resolved by mediation.

One option for you to consider is to have the agreement made into an order by way of consent. This is where the courts orders that the arrangements that you and your ex have decided on will be put into formal orders. Consent Orders are just as enforceable as judicially made orders, (parenting orders).

For orders to be made by consent both parties must agree to them being made. The centre that assisted with the drawing up of the agreement should have the means of providing you with assistance in how to get the process of making orders by consent started, as quite often they will arrange for them to go to the registry.

Failing an agreement to consent orders the only other path for you (and your kid/s) to have certainty is to make an application for parenting orders. Remember that only 5% of parenting order applications make it through to a final hearing, with most being settled by consent prior to this.

If you do need to file an initiating application for parenting orders you can include in your affidavit the fact that you have had prior parenting agreements which failed.

A child is a gift, not a weapon. To be a parent is a privilege, one which unfortunately some parents do not deserve.
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