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Parenting Orders: Who can claim?

At the time of divorce, having a good parenting plan and arrangement is utmost important as the court considers the child care and provision strictly and may hold the divorce decree.

As mentioned in , a parenting order is a set of orders made by a court about parenting arrangements for a child. A court can make a parenting order based on an agreement between the parties (consent orders) or after a court hearing or trial. When a parenting order is made, each person affected by the order must follow it.

A parenting order may deal with one or more of the following:

  • who the child will live with
  • how much time the child will spend with each parent and with other people, such as grandparents
  • the allocation of parental responsibility
  • how the child will communicate with a parent they do not live with, or other people
  • any other aspect of the care, welfare or development of the child.

The family law has enabled 4 parties to apply for parenting orders of the child. They are:

1.        Parents of the child

2.       Child himself/ herself

3.       Grandparents of the child

4.       Any other individual who is genuinely concerned of the child’s wellbeing

This seems quite unsettling on the behest as the family law allows other parties other than parents to get parenting orders. So how does the court decide?

Practically, the court does not allow parenting order beyond parents and grandparents of the child. In the cases where the applying party is neither a parent or a grandparent, the court requires to provide strong justification as to why that party is interested to get orders and need to spend time with the child. Unless, there is substantial positive contribution from that party to the child’s wellbeing, the court does not issue parenting orders to the party.

There have been many cases where the court hasn’t given parenting orders to great grandparents or aunts and uncles of the child and has demanded justification as to why they need to spend time with the child and how that is going to aid the child’s development.

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