A parenting order is an order made by the Family Court that says who is responsible for the day-to-day care of a child, and when and how someone else important in the child's life can have contact with them. Parenting orders can be enforced just like any other order of the Court. Usually, they involve disputes between a child's parents. But other people in a child's life can apply for a parenting order too - a guardian, or a partner of a parent of the child, for example, and in certain cases others. A parenting order can also be made when parents or guardians agree on the arrangements for the care of children and have prepared a written parenting agreement. Here, one or both can ask the Court to make a parenting order based on the agreement. Day-to-day care used to be called custody, and contact used to be called access. A parenting order is the new name for what used to be called custody orders and access orders.

View the parenting order brochure

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