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Shared Parenting - day to day issues

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Shared parenting sometimes leads to issues that 'normal' families or single parents don't encounter. - School enrolment forms

 Hi All,

The school year has started in NSW and I have to fill in the school enrolment form. The problem is though: How?  I have a 50/50 shared arrangement for the kids with my ex and the kids live with me one week and with her the other.  In the enrolment form (for public schools NSW) from the Department of Education (DEC-NSW)  there are two sections, "Parents/carers with whom the student normally lives" and "Parents/cares" not living with this student normally. So how do I fill this in and being truthful at the same time?

I contacted the DEC and they agreed there is an issue and they will look into it. Apparently it was the first time someone complained about that.  I agree, there would be only a small minority that would have the same problem as I have but I thought there might be other people out there facing the same issue. So please, if you are in the same boat then please contact the DEC (1300 679 332) and asked for the policy department and voice your problem. The more people voice their concern the more likely this will lead to change.

Overall this is a minor issue but nothing will ever change if nobody is doing anything about.

As for now we have decided to copy the page "Parents/carers with whom the student normally lives" and fill it in for me and form my ex.
SPF said
 ….The problem is though: How?  I have a 50/50 shared arrangement for the kids with my ex and the kids live with me one week and with her the other.  and ….As for now we have decided to copy the page "Parents/carers with whom the student normally lives" and fill it in for me and form my ex.
The action you have taken is appropriate. There are not that many cases like yours but the form should deal with BOTH parents as lives with and lives with (50/50) or Lives with and Spends time with (<51 / >49).

Thank you for taking the time to raise it with DET :thumbs:

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
Hi,
Thanks for posting the phone number I will follow it up as well.
This year we had to enroll both a child in Public and Secondary school and were told the same line by both…. that the DEC computer system doesn't have a field for two primary contacts and so we would have to pick one of us to be contact and they would be 'trusted' to pass on any info received to the other parent, assuming if we are shared care that that will be ok. My ex-h nominated himself and as the protagonist in our custody issues it wasn't very successful with him either not passing info at all or just the bits he felt like.

So yes I was shocked at how completely out of touch the DEC could be about this considering how long shared care has been around.
I went through this myself this year. I have been going through the family law system now for the past 22 months with our final hearing listed for the end of October. My ex withheld access to our boys after separation (amongst other things) and it has taken me 5 visits to court thus far to get to this point. We have shared responsibility but I currently only have daytime access (I haven't even been able to run a hearing yet). When enrolling our eldest into kindergarten I felt a little dismayed at the forms and how there is really only one space for a "primary" parent. Regardless of time percentage, my ex and I share all responsibilities for caring for the boys and I felt disheartened that I was essentially fobbed off as a distant relative on the form (I was a little sensitive at the time haha). It wasn't until a month ago when I was paying school fees at the office that one of the ladies referred to me as my ex's current partners name - hers is the name listed on their records as she lives with my ex, not me. They didn't even have my phone number on their records.

Times have changed and the DEC definitely needs to look at their system and how to cater for family arrangements that are not so black and white. Even if a parent has say 30% of time with their children, they could very well be very involved in their lives and I feel it's important that they are recognised as such, notified of issues at school in a timely matter, etc. If I waited for my ex to inform me of everything then I'd be waiting until I have grandchildren. I do the leg work and run around asking teachers how things are going, making sure I am not missing out on any forms, etc but I constantly fall through the cracks because I am not the "primary" parent listed (even though I pick the boys up half the days a week!). I always find filling out forms so complicated for this reason, I always try to list both of our details but sometimes the structure of forms makes this very difficult!

I will also contact DEC regarding this issue :thumbs:
Posts from this topic have been moved by Secretary SPCA. 1 post have been transferred to Posts split from "Shared Parenting - day to day issues ".

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
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