Best Shared Care Arrangements in Australia

Best Shared Care Arrangements in Australia

Shared care or shared parenting during a separation or divorce are now the norm and encouraged in the eyes of the law.

The best-shared care arrangements in Australia take into account the best interests of the child, the rights of both parents, and the time each child spends with both parents. 

Excluding instances where shared parenting may put the child in harm’s way, the courts take seriously the rights of both parents to bond with their child and also the best and legal interests of the child. 

How the Courts in Australia Grant Parenting Orders

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Sometimes the courts might be compelled to make parenting orders if both parents cannot come to an amicable agreement. If this happens, there is a legislative pathway that they must follow. 

However, it is always best to avoid long-winded court proceedings and expensive lawyers. If you and your spouse can reach an amicable parenting agreement, Split Easy can help you work out an agreement on the living and financial arrangements of your children. 

If you cannot reach an agreement, the courts will take over, and presume that both parents have agreed to equal shared parenting. The only instances in which shared parenting would not be an option is if: 

  • A child has endured abuses in the hands of one parent
  • One parent is violent to the family
  • One parent has abused another child or sibling who at the time was a member of the family
  • One parent has physical or mental health challenges

Equal Shared-Time Orders

The best-shared care arrangements in Australia are those in which the child spends the same amount of time with each parent. 

The most common arrangement is where a child lives with one parent for one to two weeks in a month, spending every other weekend with their father or their mother. 

This arrangement, again, depends on two crucial factors – the best interests of the child and the relationship between the two parents. Plus, any order for equal shared time must be practical between both parties. 

In this regard, the courts take into consideration the;

  • Distance between both parents’ homes
  • Parents’ current and future ability to communicate efficiently and amicably solve problems that may arise when implementing the order
  • The impact, whether positive or negative, on the child
  • The current and future ability of each parent to provide a safe, financially stable and loving living environment for the child
  • Any other factors that they consider relevant

Also, keep in mind that the courts will always protect the best interests of the child and keep all children from harm with their orders.

Substantial and Significant Time Orders

‘Substantial and significant time’ refers to the child spending time with a parent on: 

  • Weekends
  • School holidays and school days

This time enables the parent to insert themselves in the child’s daily routine and events that hold special meaning to the child. 

If the courts determine that equal shared parental responsibility has not been refuted but decline to make an Equal Shared-Time Order, they can consider whether a Substantial and Significant Time Order is in the best interests of the child.

The courts try to make this order as reasonably practicable as possible. They take into account factors similar to those considered in the Equal Shared-Time Order above.

Final Thoughts

While the jury is still out on whether the equal-shared time arrangement is in the best interest of the child. However, experts agree that the best-shared care arrangements in Australia, are where parents are amicable, in agreement, and not treating their children as pawns in a game.

Split Easy helps parents work out an agreement for financial provision and living arrangements for children, to ensure their ultimate wellbeing. 

Reach out to our team of professional, friendly experts on 1300 545 233 or start your journey below.

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