Who can make an application for parenting?
Parenting orders are orders that deal with arrangements for children. Parenting orders consider things such as with whom children live, what time the children are to spend with other people, and the allocation of parental responsibility. I often get asked ‘who can make an application for a parenting order?’
Many people think that it is simply a child’s birth mother or father who can make an application to the court with respect to parenting. Nothing could be further from the truth. Under s 65C of the Family Law Act, a parenting order can be applied for by: –
- Either or both of the child’s parents; or
- The child; or
- A grandparent of the child; or
- Any other person concerned with the care, welfare or development of the child.
Section 65C(ba) provides that grandparents can bring an application before the Court for parenting. I have found that grandparents are often not aware that they can apply for orders that their grandchildren live with them or spend time with them. This is the case regardless of whether the child’s parents are together or separated.
It is noted that s65C(c) which provides for ‘Any other person concerned with the care, welfare or development of the child’ is quite broad and could provide for siblings, friends, aunts and uncles or other relatives with a significant connection to the child to bring an application before the Court with respect to parenting matters.