In case of separation of parents, the law still provides means to afford their common child the full protection and benefit of being raised by both parents. Child Support is one way to secure the financial subsistence of the child while a parenting plan can be considered the best method on how each parent will take care of their child in their own time and ways.
In case where both parents will not agree or come up with a good parenting plan, they may ask the assistance of the Court to settle their terms and conditions on the way they will take care of their child. The Court then will issue a parenting order which will cover and lay down the duties and obligations of both parents and other person who will take care of the child. It will cover the place where the child will stay, who will interact with the child and the particular time they are allowed to interact with them and other issues and circumstances that is pertinent and significant to the growth and development of the child.
In case there are disputes or varying conditions on both parents, the court may conduct a hearing or trial in order to allow both parties to vent out their concerns and to present their arguments. The Court then will decide based on the merits of their arguments on what will be the actual terms and conditions of the parenting order. Pending the hearing and if the circumstances demands, the Court may also promulgate an interim parenting order that will be the temporary arrangement of the parties.
Under Section 65C of the Family Law Act, A Parenting Order in relation to a child may be applied for by:
(a) Either or both of the child’s parents; or
(b) The child; or
(ba) A grandparent of the child; or
(c) Any other person concerned with the care, welfare or development of the child.
If a person who is not the parent of the child and wish to apply for a parenting order, he should consult a family consultant regarding his application since it will usually help the court to determine whether the application will be for the best interest of the child.