When we are dealing with family law cases in which there is a disagreement between parents as to the appropriate parenting arrangements for a child or children, there is often confusion about the term “Equal Shared Parental Responsibility”. This is a legal concept and something that the Court is obliged to consider when making orders about parenting arrangements for children.
Equal Shared Responsibility of Parents
We frequently find that parties in this situation assume that equal shared parental responsibility means that children must spend equal time with each parent. This is not the case.
Equal Shared Responsibility of Parents means that both parents must agree on the big decisions that need to be made about children. These are things like which school the child should attend, what religion the child should follow, the child’s name, application for a passport, and to some extent where the child should live.
The Court can make orders to regulate how parental responsibility is exercised, and the Court can also remove parents’ responsibility from parents, as well as give parental responsibility to other people who are not parents of a child.
Quality or Quantity shared parental responsibility – Time spent with children.
The family law legislation requires that the following separation the Family Law Court Brisbane apply the presumption that it is in the best interests of the child for the parents to have equal shared parental responsibility in normal circumstances and where practical unless there are circumstances that put the child at risk of harm. It is the child’s right to have a meaningful relationship with both parents.
Shared parenting works well in child custody situations where parents:
- live in close proximity to each other
- can overcome negative feelings towards each other
- can resolve issues arising from family life
- can accept each other’s right to live a new life
- are able to be respectful of each other
- can communicate with the children on the parenting arrangements
It can be a major focus of many parents seeking separation advice that the children spend equal time with their parents. A child’s perspective of separation sometimes can be that they are the problem because parents are arguing about how much time they should spend with them. The child may see this as their fault as they are the center of the arguments. This can be distressing to a child.
Food for thought – many studies and in matters dealt with by family lawyers Brisbane indicate that quality of time with children far outweighs quantity. Should not the focus be on how much we love our children and how can we organize our lives to include them and not how much time figuratively speaking we should be with them? Researchers and Brisbane family lawyers have found that a child’s wellbeing is not necessarily linked to the amount of time they spend with each parent indicating time may not be the most important factor when considering a child’s wellbeing. Perhaps it is more beneficial for parents to think about the quality of time they spend with their child rather than the amount of time the child is in their care.
Very young and small infants require further consideration as they cannot convey their thoughts and feelings about change. There has been considerable research involving babies and their attachment to their primary caregiver and their inability to understand change. Again it comes down to the parents considering all the factors involved and seeking advice from professionals to help them decide what is best for their child.
Research has indicated that if parents were cooperative, flexible, and child-focused this significantly benefited their child. Perhaps quality parenting time does not have to be mathematical.
My firm is arguably the best family lawyer in Brisbane. We can assist with further information on this and other child custody issues on 1800 217 217.
Article source: https://familylaw.aylwardgame.com.au/what-is-equal-shared-parental-responsibility/