Publications - Family law

Separation and Children

Separation is a stressful time for families, particularly at Christmas if parents have separated but have not been able to reach agreement to formalise time to be spent with their children.

What do we mean by “formal arrangements”?

Mediation is the necessary first step in an attempt to resolve parenting issues between parties without the need to make an application to the court. Agreement reached at mediation will avoid parties being involved in long and costly litigation.

If agreement is reached a Parenting Plan is prepared and signed by the parties with the intention and expectation they will each adhere to the terms of the Parenting Plan, although a Parenting Plan document is not a Court Order.

If there is any concern a Parenting Plan may not be complied with, then consideration should be given to formalising the agreement as a Court Order.

If a party does not comply with the order, there are many things that you can do including:

  • seek legal advice
  • attend family dispute resolution
  • apply to a Family Court.

The Family Law Court’s website has a brochure entitled ‘Compliance with Parenting Orders’ which outlines the penalties for failing to comply with a Parenting Order.

We recommend that if you have separated and have not yet made parenting arrangements, that you should immediately take steps to do that, including obtaining legal advice and make enquiries with a local Family Dispute Resolution Centre to organise mediation.

The Kelly Legal Family Law Team are focused on achieving a quick and fair outcome for separated parents wanting to formalise arrangements for their children.

For more information in the meantime, contact Richard Callaghan from our Family Law Team on 07 4911 0500 or visit


Send us an Enquiry


When I needed a solicitor quickly, Elspeth’s name was recommended quite a few times from family and friends. My matter was a very stressful and because I had cancer in 2008-2009 I was worried…

— Robert, Rural View

View more testimonials »

I was able to see an experienced lawyer the next day without going on a waiting list.

— CF, Eimeo

View more testimonials »

Elspeth told us what our rights were and what we were entitled to, and she was spot on.

— SD & SD, Belgian Gardens

View more testimonials »

This was our first property transaction in 48 years. Debbie always returned our phone calls straight away. She was kind to us and helped us understand what was going on and took the time to explain…

— MS & AS, Mount Pleasant

View more testimonials »

I found Elspeth to be kind and compassionate, but professional at the same time.

— KA, North Mackay

View more testimonials »

My husband and myself recently purchased a block of land at Habana and we decided to use the Team at Kelly Legal. We had the up most professionalism and the contact between us and the Kelly legal team…

— KF, Ooralea

View more testimonials »

Jane's letters that she sent to others on my behalf were brilliantly written.  She always explained everything to me in down to earth terms.  Jane is very intelligent and understanding and…

— JW, Glenwood

View more testimonials »

Individual liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation