When will Shared Care or Equal time with Children be Ordered

When will Courts Order Parents to have Shared Care or Equal Time with Kids 

Just because an Order for ‘equal shared parental responsibility’ might apply, does not mean that means ‘equal time’ or ‘shared care’ will also apply.

The 2006 changes to the Family Law Act 1975 did not provide for the parents to have “shared care” or for the Child to spend “equal time” with each parent.

The Court will make a decision as to the time a Child will spend with each parent based on what is in the “best interests of the Child”.

In certain circumstances the Court is required to consider whether a Child should spend equal time with both parents.

If a Court makes an Order for equal parental responsibility then the Family Law Act 1975 says the court must then consider when an order for shared care would be appropriate.

When considering whether equal time is appropriate the Court will consider whether a shared care arrangement is practical. This will include things like:




  • the age of the child;
  • the distance the parents live from each other and the child’s school;
  • the level of communication between the parents;
  • the degree to which the parents are able to co-operate;
  • the difference in parenting styles of the parents and the extent to which the hcild may benefit from that;
  • the arrangements that have been in place so far for the Child and how they have worked;
  • the child’s ability to cope with living in a shared care arrangement;
  • the capacity and capability of each of the child’s parents;
  • the individual needs of each child;

If it is not appropriate for a Child to spend equal time with each parent, then the Court must next consider a Child spending substantial and significant time with a parent.

More Information on Child’s Time with Parents & Parental Responsibility

We also have the following Fact Sheets which will provide you with more information on this topic:


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