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Single Dad Parenting Plan, what do I need to consider?

Mr K
Community Member

Hi all,

I've moved through the grieving process with my wife deciding to leave me after 11 years.

I've told my kids and parents, the hardest part for me by a long way.

I want at least 50/50 care of my kids and would very happily take more or even 100% but know they need their mother too for balance. I just want to make certain I don't miss out on an important detail I struggle to incorporate later down this rabbit hole. I'd love to hear from anyone who has been down this path and who can help point me in the right direction.



3 Replies 3

Community Member
Hey mate I've been down this path myself and through court to get official court orders.

First thing to do is contact relationships australia...so that you and your wife can talk to the mediator both put forward what you'd like and have a parenting plan drawn up.

It's not enforceable like a court order, but if you are amicable then it will be okay

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Keith,I to have been down this path.I did it through mediation which was a long stressful day to we both came to an agreement.We both had solicitors but that is expensive.The thing is you might not get all of what you want but try and resolve it through mediation and if you both come to a mutal agreement it will pass through the family court no problem.I hope this helps.

Take care,


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Mr K

There are many free avenues to get legal advice before negotiating and signing a Parenting Plan. It's important to access as much of this free legal advice ie through Community legal services, as possible. I guess keeping it foremost in your mind is the fact that a Parenting Plan is not a legally enforceable document. Though once it is signed by both parties then they might be able to be submitted to Family Law Court and come out as Consent Orders. These Orders are legally enforceable.

This is very important if there is a history of domestic and or family violence and or if you think the other parent may muck you around with pick up and drop off times etc. I mean to have Orders stamped by the Court.

I feel for you. Separation with children is a very difficult time. Remember not to feel pressured into signing anything until you get legal advice about the written documents.

Once you attend Mediation, and Courts will redirect you to do this if you haven't, you can take the unsigned Parenting Plan to a free legal advisory service to get their input on your behalf before you sign.

This can all be a very long process. The wait times, even for Mediation through Community Mediators, can be months long. If you and your ex partner can see the sense in agreeing to a Parenting Plan, then you will each save tens of thousands of dollars by avoiding engaging lawyers and barristers for Court.

One thing Mediators expect from both parents is their completion, separately, of a Parenting Course. The information gained from this Course will help you all move forward with any arrangements and changes in the family.

A great resource is the online and phone support from the Federal Circuit Court. You can phone them for advice about the processes of dissolution of marriage etc. They do not provide legal advice.

There is LOADS of information online about what to do. There are many community resources to help you through this challenging time. I hope you journey as well as possible through this, it can be difficult and it's okay to not feel okay and to reach out for help.

I really liked how you said that time with each parent would be a 'balanced' approach. Your children will benefit greatly and could even thrive with such a level headed and rational approach during an emotional situation. I wish you all well in your new family structure.

Yours in a happier world.