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When should I use this guide?

Use this guide if:

  • you and your ex-partner have children together
  • you agree on arrangements for them (for example which parent they live with, how often they see the other parent)
  • you want to set out the arrangements in writing
  • you don’t want to have a court official such as a judge decide on the arrangements for your children.

This guide contains the information you need if you and your ex-partner are willing to agree in writing about the arrangements for your children. You can also use it if you already have court orders and want to change them, providing you both agree to the changes.

If you and your ex-partner don’t agree on arrangements for your children, or you agree but one of you does not want to put it in writing and sign it, your next step will be to get help to see if you can reach a written and signed agreement. Your options are listed in Can I get legal advice?.

If you have exhausted all avenues (including family dispute resolution) and still cannot agree, you can go to court and ask the court to decide on the arrangements for your children.

Last updated 23 June 2021

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