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;
- all of the ‘best interests of the child’ factors contained in Section 60CC of the Family Law Act 1975.
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:
- What is Shared Care or Equal Time and will it apply to us
- What is Substantial and Significant Time and when does it apply
- What is Parental Responsibility and What types of Parental Responsibility Orders do Courts make
- What is Equal Shared Parental Responsibility
- When does Equal Shared Parental Responsibility apply
- What does Sole Parental Responsibility mean
- When will Sole Parental Responsibility be Ordered
- Who makes long term, short term and day to day decisions for the Child
- What are the major Long Term Issues that must be made by parents with Shared Parental Responsibility
- What are Grandparents Rights to see their Grandchildren
- Mediation Requirements before Court Proceedings
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All Topics in the Child Issues Section
- Types of Parental Responsibility Orders
- Child’s Time with Parents: Shared Care or not
- Grandparents: Rights to see Grandchildren
- Documenting a Parenting Agreement
- Best Interests of the Children
- Relocation of a Parent with a Child
- Change of a Child’s Surname
- Child Passports & Overseas Travel after Separation or Divorce
- How to change a Final Parenting Order previously made by the Court
- International Child Abduction