Having to go through the court process can seem like you’ve stepped into another world. We’re here to demystify some of the legal jargon that gets thrown around the court room.
Consent Orders – Orders that are agreed upon by the parties and which are then taken to court to be made official.
Parenting Agreement – Parenting plans are written documents outlining the agreements made between parties responsible for the care of the child. These are not enforceable but can influence the decision of the court in the future.
Contravention Order – A contravention order occurs when one of the parties did not follow what they were supposed to in previous orders. They have therefore ‘breached’ the orders.
FaCS- The Department of Family and Community Services. They can become involved if there are concerns for the welfare of children.
Child Support – A payment from one parent to another which assists with the costs of raising a child.
Adjourn – Postpone court to another date and time.
Ex Parte Hearing – When a matter goes to court without notifying the other party and they are therefore not present. (Normally for urgent issues).
Family Consultant – Specially trained individuals in psychology, social work or other social science. They have experience in child and family issues. In the future, the same consultant may be involved in a Family Report.
Family Report – a Report which outlines the issues in a case to assist the court. The Family Consultant will interview each relevant party and make observations.
Family Dispute Resolution – The process of attempting to reach an agreement through mediation.
Independent Children’s Lawyer – A separate, independent lawyer that offers an impartial opinion of the child’s best interests.
Equal Shared Parental Responsibility – Having a 50/50 split between the parents in regards to power to make long term decisions about the child.
Applicant – Someone who applies to court for orders about the child.
Respondent – Someone who is named in a case. They may choose to respond to orders.