It is a really good idea to seek some legal advice. A solicitor will be able to discuss the pros and cons of the options available to you and tailor a solution that will best suit your needs whilst always remaining child focused.

Very generally your options are as follows:

  1. Verbal agreement. There is no requirement that parties have to go to Court or record their arrangements for their children. Verbal arrangements work best when parents are able to communicate well with each other and have minimal disagreements.
  2. Complete a Parenting Plan. This is a record of the arrangements made, which is signed and dated by both parents. Whilst it is not legally binding it is legally significant (i.e. a Judge will take this Parenting Plan into consideration when working out what is in the best interests of the child). A Parenting Plan is accepted by Centrelink and the Child Support Agency.
  3. Seek legal assistance with the drafting of Consent Minutes of Order. This makes your agreement with your ex-partner regarding arrangements for your child/children legally binding. Keep in mind that the only way to change a Court Order is via agreement with the other party or by Order of the Court (i.e. going to Court and asking them to change it).