What Is Equal Shared Parental Responsibility And How Does It Affect You And Your Kids?

Equal Shared Parental Responsibility and how does it affect you and your kids?

Consider How You’re Going To Reach A Decision

Separating from your partner is hard and it only becomes more difficult when there are children involved.

One of the key factors to consider is how you and your ex-partner are going to reach a decision about the long-term care, welfare and development decisions relating to your child.

What Does The Legislation Say?

The legislation says that as a starting point, and in the absence of anything to say otherwise, you and your ex-partner are equally responsible for the ‘big decisions’ relating to your child. The big decisions include:

  1. Where the child is going to go to school;
  2. Any religious or cultural decisions;
  3. Decisions relating to the child’s medical treatments;
  4. Any change to the child’s name; and
  5. Where the child is to live geographically.
A child is seeing through a magnifying glass

What Does This Mean For My Family?

That means you and your ex-partner need to make a genuine effort to consult each other about the above issues and reach a decision together.

A good plan about parenting arrangements should also specify what you and your ex-partner are going to do if you cannot reach a decision about these issues, such as to attend mediation.

The presumption that the above decisions are to be made equally can be rebutted if the Court believes that it is not in the child’s best interests for two parents to consult each other.

This usually is the case when one parent has abused the child, or the child has been subjected to family violence.

Family violence does not just have to be physical violence and can include instances where the child is in the room where one parent is using violent or threatening behaviour towards a member of the family.

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Does Equal Shared Parental Responsibility Mean That My Child Will Spend Equal Time With Each Of Us?

The presumption of equal shared parental responsibility is different to how much time a child should spend with each parent. The presumption is not that a child should spend equal time with both parents.

Every situation is different and the time your child spends with you and your ex partner is determined by lots of different factors.

If you want to explore this issue further, our family lawyers can assist you and your family through this process.

O’Loan Family Law offers specialist family law advice, conveniently located on Sydney’s North Shore. We help separating families find amicable solutions that consider your unique situation so you can move on with your life.

Our service offerings include collaborative practice, assisted DIY separation and what we like to call, the traditional family law pathway. We’ve got your back.

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About The Author - Bron O'Loan

Bron O’Loan is the Founder & Director of O’Loan Family Law and is an expert family lawyer and independent children’s lawyer. Bron has worked in Family Law since 2015 and is an experienced litigator and skilful negotiator in all family law matters. She is also an experienced speaker and best selling author of The Splits – How to help your kids navigate separation and divorce. Click here if you’d like to learn more about Bron O’loan.

*This post is an overview only and should not be considered as legal advice. If there are any matters that you would like us to advise you on, then please contact us.

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