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FLA s63C: Meaning of parenting plan and related terms

Legislation relating to parenting plans.

Legislative details/specifications for Parenting Plans from the Family Law Act 1975 that should be considered in planning and drafting a plan or orders for your child(ren).

In particular, note the distinction between the "Child welfare provisions of registered parenting plans" and the "Child maintenance provisions of registered parenting plans".
Division 4 - Parenting plans

63A.     What this Division does
63B.     Parents encouraged to reach agreement
63C.     Meaning of parenting plan and related terms
63CAA. Parenting plans may include child support provisions
63D.     Parenting plan may be varied or revoked by further written agreement
63DA.   Obligations of advisers
63DB.   Registered parenting plans
63E.     Registration of a revocation of a registered parenting plan
63F.    Child welfare provisions of registered parenting plans
63G.    Child maintenance provisions of registered parenting plans - where not enforceable as maintenance agreements
63H.    Court's powers to set aside, discharge, vary, suspend or revive registered parenting plans
FAMILY LAW ACT 1975 - SECT 63C - Meaning of parenting plan and related terms

(1)  A parenting plan is an agreement that:

   a)  is in writing; and

   b)  is or was made between the parents of a child; and

   ba)  is signed by the parents of the child; and

   bb)  is dated; and

   c)  deals with a matter or matters mentioned in subsection (2).

(1A)  An agreement is not a parenting plan for the purposes of this Act unless it is made free from any threat, duress or coercion.

(2)  A parenting plan may deal with one or more of the following:

   a)  the person or persons with whom a child is to live;

   b)  the time a child is to spend with another person or other persons;

   c)  the allocation of parental responsibility for a child;

   d)  if 2 or more persons are to share parental responsibility for a child - the form of consultations those persons are to have with one another about decisions to be made in the exercise of that responsibility;

   e)  the communication a child is to have with another person or other persons;

   f)  maintenance of a child;

   g)  the process to be used for resolving disputes about the terms or operation of the plan;

   h)  the process to be used for changing the plan to take account of the changing needs or circumstances of the child or the parties to the plan;

   i)  any aspect of the care, welfare or development of the child or any other aspect of parental responsibility for a child.

Note: Paragraph f) - if the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 applies, provisions in a parenting plan dealing with the maintenance of a child (as distinct from child support under that Act) are unenforceable and of no effect unless the provisions in the plan are a child support agreement (see section 63CAA and subsection 63G(5) of this Act).

(2A)  The person referred to in subsection (2) may be, or the persons referred to in that subsection may include, either a parent of the child or a person other than the parent of the child (including a grandparent or other relative of the child).

(2B)  Without limiting paragraph (2) c), the plan may deal with the allocation of responsibility for making decisions about major long‑term issues in relation to the child.

(2C)  The communication referred to in paragraph (2) e) includes (but is not limited to) communication by:

   a)  letter; and

   b)  telephone, email or any other electronic means.

(3)  An agreement may be a parenting plan:

   a)  whether made before or after the commencement of this section; and

   b)  whether made inside or outside Australia; and

   c)  whether other persons as well as a child's parents are also parties; and

   d)  whether it deals with other matters as well as matters mentioned in subsection (2).

Note: One of the other matters with which a parenting plan may deal is child support (see section 63CAA).

(4)  Provisions of a parenting plan that deal with matters other than the maintenance of a child are child welfare provisions .

(5)  Provisions of a parenting plan that deal with the matter mentioned in paragraph (2) f) are child maintenance provisions .

(6)  A registered parenting plan is a parenting plan:

   (a)  that was registered in a court under section 63E as in force at any time before the commencement of the Family Law Amendment Act 2003 ; and

   (b)  that continued to be registered immediately before the commencement of the Family Law Amendment Act 2003.
Parenting Plans are no longer registered by the Courts.  However, they can be 'registered' in the form of Children's Orders.  
FAMILY LAW AMENDMENT ACT 2003 NO. 138, 2003

TABLE OF PROVISIONS

Long Title

1.      Short title  
2.      Commencement  
3.      Schedule(s)  

SCHEDULE 1 - Removal of requirement to register parenting plans
SCHEDULE 2 - Use of audio links, video links etc.
SCHEDULE 3 - Management of the Family Court
SCHEDULE 4 - Parenting compliance regime
SCHEDULE 4A - Setting aside financial agreements
SCHEDULE 5 - Other amendments relating to financial agreements
SCHEDULE 6 - Orders and injunctions binding third parties
SCHEDULE 7 - Miscellaneous amendments



SCHEDULE 1 - Removal of requirement to register parenting plans

Family Law Act 1975

1 Section 60C (table item 4)

Omit "and their registration in courts".

2 Section 63A

Omit "and provides for their registration in courts".

3 Section 63B

Repeal the section, substitute: 63B Parents encouraged to reach agreement

The parents of a child are encouraged:

   a) to agree about matters concerning the child; and

   b) to take responsibility for their parenting arrangements and for resolving parental conflict; and

   c) to use the legal system as a last resort rather than a first resort; and

   d) to minimise the possibility of present and future conflict by using or reaching an agreement; and

   ) in reaching their agreement, to regard the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration.

Note: Parents are encouraged to reach an informal agreement between themselves about matters concerning their children by entering into a parenting plan. Parents who seek enforceable arrangements require court orders. These can be obtained by consent.

4 At the end of section 63C

Add:

(6) A registered parenting plan is a parenting plan:

   a) that was registered in a court under section 63E as in force at any time before the commencement of the Family Law Amendment Act 2003 ; and

   b) that continued to be registered immediately before the commencement of the Family Law Amendment Act 2003 .

5 Section 63D

Repeal the section, substitute: 63D Parenting plan may be varied or revoked by further written agreement

A parenting plan, other than a plan to which section 63DB applies, may be varied or revoked by agreement in writing between the parties to the plan.

6 Section 63DA

Repeal the section, substitute: 63DA Explanation by person advising or assisting in the making of a parenting plan

If a person who is:

   a) a family and child counsellor; or
   
   b) a family and child mediator; or

   c) a legal practitioner;

gives advice or assistance to people in connection with the making by them of a parenting plan, the person must explain to them, in language likely to be readily understood by them, the availability of programs to help people who experience difficulties in complying with a parenting plan.

7 After section 63DA

Insert: 63DB Registered parenting plans

Application of section

(1) This section applies to a registered parenting plan.

Saving of registered parenting plan

(2) A registered parenting plan continues in force until revoked in accordance with section 63E, or set aside, varied or discharged as referred to in section 63H.

No variation of registered parenting plan

(3) A registered parenting plan cannot be varied.

Revocation of registered parenting plan

(4) Subject to subsection (5), a registered parenting plan may be revoked by agreement in writing between the parties to the plan.

Registration of revocation required

(5) An agreement revoking a registered parenting plan:

   (a) may, subject to the applicable Rules of Court, be registered, in a court having jurisdiction under this Part, under section 63E; and

   (b) does not have effect to revoke the plan until it is so registered.

8 Section 63E

Repeal the section, substitute:
63E Registration of a revocation of a registered parenting
plan

(1) This section applies to a registered parenting plan.

(2) To apply for registration of an agreement ( revocation agreement ) revoking a registered parenting plan:

   a) an application for registration of the revocation agreement must be lodged in accordance with the applicable Rules of Court; and

   b) the application must be accompanied by:

       (i) a copy of the revocation agreement; and

       (ii) the information required by the applicable Rules of Court; and

       (iii) a statement, in relation to each party, that is to the effect that the party has been provided with independent legal advice as to the meaning and effect of the revocation agreement and that is signed by the practitioner who provided that advice.

(3) The court may register the revocation agreement if it considers it appropriate to do so having regard to the best interests of the child to whom the agreement relates. In determining whether it is appropriate to register the revocation agreement, the court:

   a) must have regard to the information accompanying the application for registration; and

   b) may, but is not required to, have regard to all or any of the matters set out in subsection 68F(2).

9 Subsection 63F(1)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

Application of section

(1) This section applies to a registered parenting plan that contains child welfare provisions.

10 Subsection 63G(1)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

(1) This section applies if:

   a) a registered parenting plan contains child maintenance provisions; and

   b) the plan is not a maintenance agreement or, if it is a maintenance agreement, the child concerned is not a child of the relevant marriage.

11 Before subsection 63H(1)

Insert:

(1A) This section applies to a registered parenting plan.

12 Subsection 63H(1)

Omit "a parenting plan is registered under section 63E", substitute "the plan was registered".
13 Section 68P (subparagraph b)(iv) of the definition of Division 11 contact order )

Omit "parenting plan registered in a court under section 63E", substitute "registered parenting plan within the meaning of subsection 63C(6)".
14 Section 70NB (paragraph e) of the definition of order under this Act affecting children )

Omit "parenting plan registered in a court under section 63E", substitute "registered parenting plan within the meaning of subsection 63C(6)".
15 Paragraph 70Q(2) a)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

   a) that is a registered parenting plan within the meaning of subsection 63C(6); and

From Parenting Plan to Orders

Can you, or someone else, elaborate on 'registering' a parenting plan in the form of Children's Orders?

And why one would do that?

Why should you 'register' (convert) a parenting plan as Orders?

What are the advantages?  And are there disadvantages?

Thanks.
matrix said
Can you, or someone else, elaborate on 'registering' a parenting plan in the form of Children's Orders?

And why one would do that?

Why should you 'register' (convert) a parenting plan as Orders?

What are the advantages?  And are there disadvantages?
Go to the Web Guide - it details the differences.

The biggest is of course you cannot contravene a parenting plan.

No real disadvantages - except that a set of Consent orders might be called into question over wording.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
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