• Family Law

    Shared Versus Sole Parental Responsibility

    When the parents of children divorce one of the crucial decisions that must take priority is determining parental responsibility. This is a matter that your family lawyers will advise you on and take the appropriate steps to represent you.

    One aspect of this that many clients are surprised to hear when their family lawyer tells them is that, in Australia, the law does not usually allow for the responsibility for children to be left in the hands of just one of the parents. What the Family Law Act of 1975 does spell out, is that unless there are any justifiable reasons why it should not be the case, joint parental responsibility is normally applied.

    Now, it is important to point out that joint parental responsibility does not mean that divorced parents have to live together. Heaven forbid that the courts should order that. In practical terms, therefore, it means that the child will live primarily with one of their parents, but the parent they live with does not have the sole responsibility, nor the right, to make all the important decisions regarding that child’s life and upbringing.

    The sorts of decisions relating to the child that parental responsibility is most likely to be applicable to are the following: