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The alternatives to the time and energy needed to go to court

A woman holds a pen and listens to a boy

Sometimes, applying to the family court and getting the decision of the court is the only way to sort out arrangements for your child. But for many people, some of the alternative methods outlined below are likely to be better because they are a quicker, easier, less confrontational and less traumatic way of arriving at the same outcome as a court process in terms of which parent the child should live with and the extent of any ’spending time with’ or ‘family time’ arrangements.  

The methods to agree arrangements for your child outlined below encourage you to agree a parenting plan with your child’s other parent or carer. You can read more about co-parenting and access our online parenting plan at: Resources to help you make arrangements that are in your child's best interests.

Going through the court process is never an easy option. If you can find an alternative way of sorting things out (which feels safe for you and your child) between you, you should do so, for you and your child. You can read more about mediation at: Mediation and Dispute Resolution