This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit legalaid.vic.gov.au, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

Services and info for clients about parenting plans

Key services, information and resources for clients in relation to parenting plans.

VLA produces publications and information on the website for clients about this topic.

See VLA resources for clients.

Family Court

The court site has basic information to help clients understand their options if they reach an agreement about how to care for their children after they separate.

See Family Court—If you agree on arrangements(opens in a new window).

See also Family Court—If you can't agree on arrangements(opens in a new window).

Relationships Australia

Relationships Australia produces Share the care. It explains how family dispute resolution practitioner can help people to make a plan.

It also discusses:

  • whether children should be involved
  • when parties might consider reviewing their plan
  • how the law relates to parenting plans
  • gives an example of a parenting plan
  • the differences between a parenting plan and a parenting order.

This booklet has an example of a parenting plan to help parents to create their own plan.

See Relationships Australia—Parenting plan "Share the care" - collaborative parenting apart(opens in a new window).

Family Relationships online

This site has a parenting plan guide to help parents to focus on issues that they need to consider when making a parenting plan.

See Family Relationships Online—Parenting plans(opens in a new window).

Commonwealth Attorney-General

The government has developed a handbook to help separated parents to develop parenting orders. It provides the legal background, gives advice on writing parenting orders, gives examples of orders and explains how to get consent orders from the Family Court.

See Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department—Parenting orders: what you need to know(opens in a new window).

Amica: to help separating couples

Amica is an online tool, developed by National Legal Aid, that is designed to empower separating couples to resolve their family law disputes online. The tool is designed for couples whose relationship is relatively amicable to negotiate and communicate with each other online, in their own time and space.

The tool uses artificial intelligence technology to suggest the way assets should be split, taking into account:

  • the particular circumstances of the separating couple
  • the kinds of agreements that couples in similar circumstances have made, and
  • how courts generally handle these kinds of disputes.

The tool creates a suggested division of assets, which can be used to formalise a property agreement or to use to apply to court for consent orders.

The tool can also help parents to develop a parenting plan for their children.

Cost

There is fee ranging from $165 to $440 per couple, depending on their circumstances. .

See Amica(opens in a new window).

Federal Circuit and Family Court YouTube

The court has launched a series of YouTube videos that are designed to assist people who are representing themselves in court. The videos explain how to prepare for court, what to bring, what the court layout looks like and court etiquette. There is also a video that explains how to apply for divorce and how to serve divorce papers.

The following videos may be of particular interest:

  • A new court structure
  • What to expect when attending a court hearing
  • You can separate smarter

See Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia—Official YouTube account(opens in a new window).

Court network

This voluntary, non-legal service provides support, information and referral for people who are involved in the court system. They have an online referral service so that people can make a booking before they attend court to get some help from a volunteer.

See Court Network(opens in a new window).

The service also provides a booklet for people who are representing themselves at a final hearing in the Family Law Courts.

  • 'Resource booklet for people attending a final hearing in the Family Law Courts without a lawyer'

See Court Network—Brochures(opens in a new window).

ASIC Money smart

This site has information to help people who are having difficulty with debt and managing thier money.

See:

Law Institute Victoria

The Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) Legal Referral Service provides client referrals to lawyers across Victoria. The referral service operates a telephone service during business hours and an online service through the LIV website.

Referrals are tailored to meet client needs and provide a listing of up to three law firms practising in a particular area of law. All law firms participating in the referral service undertake to see clients for the first 30 minutes free of charge. This interview can be used to determine the nature of the legal issue and discuss the available options. Normal fees are charged after the first 30 minutes or if work needs to be prepared on the client’s behalf.

Phone (03) 9607 9550.

See Law Institute Victoria—Legal Referral Service(opens in a new window).

This is VLA's online referral booking and information tool.

See Legal Help Online (Orbit(opens in a new window)).

Court, CLC, FRC and VLA panels locator

Use Toby's maps to locate community legal centres, courts and private lawyers on the Victoria Legal Aid panel. Search for a list of services near where the caller lives. Search by postcode, name of organisation, phone number or suburb. Tick/untick the boxes to select the search categories.

Do not hit enter to avoid searching globally. Hit F5 to undo this global search.

See Google maps link for CLCs and 29A panellists(opens in a new window).

For Generalist CLCs and Local Government Agencies see Google maps link for General CLCs(opens in a new window).

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