What to do before you apply for Parenting Orders

How do I apply for parenting orders?

Did you know there are certain things you need to do before applying for parenting orders? These are referred to as pre-action procedures.

The pre-action procedure applies to:

  • anyone considering starting a case
  • anyone named as a respondent if a case is started, and
  • their lawyers (if any).

Before making an order, the court wants to be satisfied that the parties make a genuine effort to resolve their dispute before applying to the court.

Applicants applying for any parenting order must supply to the court a certificate from a registered family dispute resolution practitioner, referred to as a 60I certificate unless there is an exemption.

applying for parental orders

The pre-action procedure is not required for applications:

  • for divorce only, or
  • for child support only, or
  • where the case includes the Court’s bankruptcy jurisdiction.

Pre-action procedure objectives

Attempting to resolve your matter prior to applying for a parenting order is important as the court process is expensive, emotional and invasive.

  • To encourage early and full disclosure through the exchange of information and documents about the prospective case.
  • To help people resolve their differences quickly and fairly, and to avoid legal action where possible. This will limit costs and hopefully avoid the need to start a court case.
  • Where an agreement cannot be reached out of court, to help parties identify the real issues in dispute. This should help reduce the time involved and the cost of the case.
  • To encourage parties to seek only those orders that are realistic and reasonable on the evidence.

Here’s a guide for you to follow, in case you plan to change your parenting orders.


Picture of Kristdel Bolog

Kristdel Bolog

Founder & Head of Family Law

Not sure where to start?



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If you’re going through a difficult family matter, whether it be divorce, separation or child custody matter, obtaining advice from a  family lawyer is vital.

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