What do I need to know about making an agreement on parenting arrangements or contact?

You can make an agreement about care of and time with your child, including:

  • Parenting arrangements with another guardian, or
  • Contact between the child and a non-guardian

An agreement about parenting arrangements or contact must be in the best interests of the child. If the agreement is not in the best interests of the child, the court must set it aside and replace it with an appropriate order that is in the best interests of the child.

This ensures agreements about parenting arrangements or contact can be changed as circumstances change in the child’s life. The parenting arrangements need to continue to be in the child’s best interests.

An agreement about parenting arrangements may only be made at, or after, separation. Children’s needs change over time, so it is impossible to know before separation what arrangements may be in the child’s best interests afterwards.

All guardians with parental responsibility for a child must agree about contact between the child and a person who is not a guardian.

A written agreement about parenting arrangements or contact with a child may be filed in the court registry. The court can treat and enforce the agreement the same way as a court order.