The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.P.19 Parenting order


For the purposes of FA and the SSAct, and under Family Law Act 1975 section 64B the Family Law Court issues parenting orders. There are 5 types of parenting orders including:

  • an order dealing with the allocation of parental responsibility for a child
  • an order dealing with the person or persons with whom a child will live, but does not usually allocate legal responsibility to a particular person
  • an order dealing with the time a child is to spend with or the communication a child is to have with another person or other persons - may include references to short term living arrangements but ongoing living arrangements are usually contained in the type of order above
  • a child maintenance order - covers child support, and
  • a specific issues order - relates to any aspect of parental responsibility that does not fall under one of the other 4 types of parenting orders (that is, day-to-day care, welfare, development, education, religion and legal responsibility).

It is possible for a parent to have only one, or possibly all 5, parenting orders applied to them. The content of a parenting order will vary from case to case and must be read carefully to identify the relevant information. A parenting order differs from a registered parenting plan in that it may also include other adults, in addition to a child's parents, as having responsibility or care of the child.

Act reference: Family Law Act 1975 section 4(1) Interpretation, section 64B Meaning of parenting order and related terms

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