Donate Child Support Calculator
Skip navigation

What does "shared parental responsibility" really mean ?

Do they ever really give shared parental responsiblity to people who are in conflict? I've read court decisions and they go off who had more responsiblity when people are in conflict. Have they ever though that people have these conflicts because one or more of the people was too controlling?

From what I understand, shared parental responsibilty means: you can tell the other partner what to do on the time they have the child. If you act like you hate your ex enough and you are the agressor, you get the child more because you just can't cope with being away from them.

It doesnt seem fair that someone can be pushed out of their child's life by an overly controlling person (usually a mother or sometimes father with a whole bunch of money).


Han Solo routine "We're all fine here, thanks. How are you?" *weapons fire* "It was a boring conversation anyway!"
Monster, you are getting two issues confused.

Shared parental responsibility is the decision making process made by parents about their child or children. It's the big issues that can't (or more properly SHOULDN'T) be solved by one person while the child is with them:

* where should the child live/go to school
* what and how many activities should they be enrolled in
* well being needs such as braces, speech therapy
* health needs such as elective surgery.

The other issue is levels of care. Most reasonable folk who part have "shared care" of their kids. This can be 30/70 40/60 50/50. Depending on the ability, willingess of the parents to parent and sometimes the age of the child. Unfortunately, this is when the controlling aspect comes in.

When people split one party is usually very hurt or aggrieved and they often use the kids to control or hurt the other person.

When these people can't agree, that is when things go to FRCs and court.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

What does Shared Responsibilty mean to me?

I have orders which say Joint responsibility for Long term decisions.

There is a history of many changes of schools in my step child's past.

There is a history of flawed medical choices in my ex's past.

What I chose to do was live and live live on the day to day stuff, I have never been focused on "Time" with my child as a significant issue with in its self - as long as there was enough regular time to allow some semblence of normality in the time we spent together and the visits close enough to identify any potential problems before they became cronic. My child was very young when the mother and I separated.

What the Joint Responsibilty order has meant in reality is that I became very involved with the schooling - I regularly have meetings with my childs teacher. I also have regular meeting with a Deputy Principal.  With the teacher I discuss the day to day matters such currrent work in class and behavioural issus. With the deputy principal, I discuss what is happening between his parents now and  share my concerns from the past and how they may relate to the current situation. By the way I had to earn the respect of both the Teacher and the Deputy Principal. I did that by focusing my attention on issues which were relavent to the person I was speaking to, and keeping my personal feelings to myself. I chose to discuss different issues with the teacher and the Principal because I did not want the teacher to feel caught in the dispute between parents, yet the School needed to be aware of more of the history than the were likely to get from one parent.

The Joint resposibility order also means I have a say in medical decisions - long term ones, occasionally that means I take my child to the doctor and get a second opinion where I think it is needed. It also means I get told about specialist appointments, I have made it quite clear in the past I wish to be there. My presence acts as a tempering influence if the information imparted by mum gets too out of hand.

What does this mean in terms of the Law and enforcement of the orders?

While I have no say in where she lives and who my ex partner lives with (outside of a direct risk to the child) the law says I am also responsible for our child's education - changing schools too often is acknowledged as negative so if need be, I would seek orders on that specic issue. Mum knows it!

On the medical front - I have some quite serious concerns - yet insufficient evidence to back my fears - so again I leave the impression that I will follow through in court if the need arose. That is enough to keep me informed on what is happening even if it I don't agree with her opinion.

There are many other minor issues which I also exert an influence in. I have learned that direct confrontation is useless unless absolutely certain of the grounds and and absolute certainty about being able to back it in court. So on the minor issues, my influence is exercised in subtle way, usually it works though.

What this all means is an understanding that I don't get to tell the other parent what they can and can't do, but I do get consulted on the big issues whether she likes it or not. Shared responsiblity means they we are supposed to consult on the major issues as described by Aremis, and if we disagree we get help to resolve the dispute - whether that help is a mediated outcome through a FRC or a Judicially determined outcome through a court.
Congratulations never average!

How about not average, because you have done exceptionally well, but one day such reasonableness as yours may be average, so never is too strong.


I think in cases of conflict parallel parenting fits perfectly.

There is an acceptance that the other party is not going to parent the child in the same way as you and because of this the child may well adopt two ways of dealing with each home but also understands the expectations of each home enviroment.

Although this does become confusing for the child when both parents are in the same place and you may well find the child goes to the parent they are less confident and comfortable with. This parent will forgive and understand while the other parent will be discouraged and needy of the child's attention.

I don't believe you have the option of telling the other parent what they can and can't do but you both have an input o major decisions regarding the child as Artemis suggests.

What you are describing sounds like a form of alienation on a physiological level that uses scare tactics rather than fact.

I think a lot will depend on the way the victim of this approaches the matter as to whether it will be successful or fail.

Many have made it through the other side and have good contact and relationship with their kids.

D4E said
I think in cases of conflict parallel parenting fits perfectly.

There is an acceptance that the other party is not going to parent the child …..
The really scarry part is when those who say they are about "reform" actually start using the buzz words of those who wish to control our lives, and the RIGHTS of our kids.

Last edit: by OneRingRules

i really dont think that shared parenting works in high conflict situations because one parent will try to bring  up thge children in a radically different way to the other, and then the differances will be too obvoius to the children.
there is often the situation where one parent will simply not let the other make anyt choices about the child, or will make them for them. that has been my experince so far


Han Solo routine "We're all fine here, thanks. How are you?" *weapons fire* "It was a boring conversation anyway!"
I would suggest it would depend on what sort of alienation is involved.

Parents are still able to be good parents but not like the other parent.

I'll admit to despising my X to the point of hating her but It did not effect my time with my daughter as change over was quick and exact.
She did try to put forward that she wanted us to talk at change over to which I suggested if she wants to talk to me ring me as change over is not the time or place.

I guess it boils down to what safety mechanisms are in place to reduce conflict when you are in each others company.

She did some things that removed my rights to participate in my daughters life and I could do nothing about them at the time but I suspect much of what she did was an attempt to trap me into a display of abuse that could be used against me like A.V.O. etc.

In time things may get better, they did for me but I did have to miss out on a lot in the beginning.

We will always have different ethics and morals as well as parenting techniques, personally I believe my way is much better. There is no point raising certain issues ( although I do ) because they are simply excused away and if I was to pursue them they would turn into conflict.

It is much easier just to be dad when my daughter is with me and answer her questions as diplomatically as possible whilst trying to include some truth. The differences between the two homes are radical, the few areas we meet like school or medical does not always see agreement, the parent who the child is with is the first focal point as they are the one who can best address immediate concerns.

It's all hard work at times but worth it and can be done successfully.

There are a few more problems if there is alienation or one parent working against the other actively but in many of these cases it's important that the kids experience the dawged parent whom can be a great support mechanism for them as they are usually more understanding and considerate.

I know of a couple of people who have achieved this and the kids have blossomed from even limited contact and when more contact has been achieved they flower into beautiful children.

It's about providing a stable enviroment when their with you not necessarily all the time.

Personally I think it's essential where it's possible.

Personally I think it's essential where it's possible.

That's a key phrase right there.

The difference is when you have court orders.
If the other party can't managed shared responsibility (notifying you of trips to the doctor etc) or where the child is to go to school, then you can mediate and take the person back to court.

This is my personal opinion, but if one person is entrenched in conflict (ie it's one sided) chances are that person gets into conflict a lot with others. Having that other home to spend time in, gives the child a safe haven, a chance to decompress.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Sorry guest perhaps you could edit your post and replace it on the topic, I personally would like your view.

It's a little hard to respond to a topic on buzz words with out your complete view.

I would say that the use of words that could be considered " Buzz Words " is important to reduce their potency and to use them in context for a positive outcome can diminish an argument that applies them in a critical way.

If you use a word but change it's perceived directive it then becomes a word that is not associated in the manner it has been intended.

I'll wait for your next post before I say anything else because I may be misunderstanding your point.
D4E said
I'll wait for your next post before I say anything else because I may be misunderstanding your point.
'Guest' does not have a point! they were just having an ill informed rant.


This has been my first time to read on this site, and i shall return.    What i find amazing is the consistancy of the cases in regard to the manner in which the female parent can continue to wear a well worn path of passively instigating confict. I am further heartened by the voices of friends and family, and now these forums to know that my patience alone in conjunction with fostering a loving and caring relationship with my children will overcome someones anger.  

sorry I am off topic. What I do believe is it means… an equal ability to foster a relationship that would see a life long understanding of each other      best regards   Kevin

Editor said
I have highlighted the last line of the guest post as it is probbably one of the best lines I have seen.

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA

is what estranged parents wait on, knowing their kids will be there when they grow up?


Han Solo routine "We're all fine here, thanks. How are you?" *weapons fire* "It was a boring conversation anyway!"

Shared parental responsibility according to the Family Law Act

According to the Family Law Act:

61B Meaning of parental responsibility

In this Part, parental responsibility, in relation to a child, means all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, parents have in relation to children.

61DA Presumption of equal shared parental responsibility when making parenting orders

(1)When making a parenting order in relation to a child, the court must apply a presumption that it is in the best interests of the child for the childs parents to have equal shared parental responsibility for the child.

Note:The presumption provided for in this subsection is a presumption that relates solely to the allocation of parental responsibility for a child as defined in section 61B. It does not provide for a presumption about the amount of time the child spends with each of the parents (this issue is dealt with in section 65DAA).


Wish I'd thought of that one as I constantly remind my son "we cannot get back the time lost with Little Miss but we have a lifetime to catch up".

All the best in your plight. This forum certainly makes you well aware you are not alone and offers so much information for all to expand on.

"I don't have tomorrow's grace yet, and I won't need it until tomorrow! We must not be so overly occupied with the future that we lose today. God has hidden the future, so we might trust Him. He is compassionate in doing so. Why waste the present trying to change something you cannot change?

Extract from "Deceived By God" author John S. Feinberg :thumbs:
1 guest and 0 members have just viewed this.

Recent Tweets