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Children and parenting

Children and parenting

Information about different types of families in family law including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children; how to make arrangements for children and how the Family Court makes decisions about children; parenting plans and parenting orders; changing a child’s name and other frequently asked questions. 


Best interests of the child

Decisions about children should be made in the best interests of the child. This has a particular meaning in family law, with the focus on the responsibilities of parents for their children.  More...


Children and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture

The Family Court takes a child’s Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander culture into account when working out what is in their best interests. Children have a right to maintain and enjoy their culture, traditions and lifestyle, including with other people of their culture.  More... 


Blended and step families

A “blended family” is a family where there is a couple who have at least one step-child and at least one child born to the couple in their family. A “step family” is created where a parent repartners after separation and at least one child of either of the new couple forms part of the family.  More...


Same-sex parenting

The Family Court of WA treats people in same-sex relationships the same as other de facto couples in relation to parenting applications. There may be some particular issues for same-sex parents to consider such as who is considered to be a parent under family law.  More...


Parenting orders  

Parenting orders are orders made by the Family Court about arrangements for children. They can include orders about where a child will live, who they spend time with or communicate with, and about other issues around education, health and so on.  More...



Parenting orders - non parents

Other people who are involved in a child’s life may be able to seek Family Court parenting orders about the child. This can include grandparents and other relatives or other people who are concerned with the care, welfare and development of the child.  More...

Parenting orders - breaches

Breaching a parenting order means to break or contravene the order. There are consequences for breaching a parenting order unless you have a “reasonable excuse”.  More...


Parenting plans

A parenting plan is a written agreement between the parents of a child (and sometimes other people) setting out the arrangements for the child. A parenting plan is not enforceable in the Family Court, but may have other implications.  More...


Changing a child's name

Usually both parents will need to agree to change their child’s name unless the Court orders otherwise. There are some exceptions to this.  



Frequently Asked Questions - arrangements for children 

 Parents and other family members often have many questions when trying to work out what is best for their children. Find the answers to some frequently asked questions here.  More...


Last reviewed: 30/10/2012
Last modified: 31/03/2015 10:42 AM


The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.