Donate Child Support Calculator
Skip navigation

Shared Parenting Resources

Resources and ideas for people contemplating or working towards a post-separation shared parenting agreement or court orders.

Two overseas sources of ideas, information and resources about shared parenting for your consideration.

NB: This material is British and American and does not literally apply in Australia and should NOT be quoted or used literally in Australian family law courts.  Instead, the usefulness of this material lies in its coverage of ideas, information, examples and listing of matters - the issues and the elements - to consider when drafting an Australian parenting plan or court orders. Additionally, some phrases and sentences may suggest useful wordings that could be integrated into an Australian plan or orders.
1. Shared Parenting Information Group (SPIG)

What is shared parenting?

Shared parenting is the concept that, following divorce or separation, mothers and fathers should retain a strong positive parenting role in their children's lives, with the children actually spending substantial amounts of time living with each parent.

There are a wide variety of parenting arrangements to suit a range of situations and these provide for time-splits from 30/70 to 50/50.

Why shared parenting?

Many children decline to 'choose' which parent to live with after family breakdown, and express dissatisfaction with the artificiality of traditional contact arrangements which often relegate one parent to the role of a distant and infrequent visitor.

Shared parenting offers the children the opportunity to build up and maintain meaningful relationships with both their parents.

What are the advantages of shared parenting?

- It ensures continuation of family life for the child, with the advantage of nurture and meaningful and lasting relationships with both parents rather than just one.

- It reassures children that they have two parents, and although they live in separate places, the children definitely have a home with each of them.

- It ensures that one parent is not unfairly burdened with the responsibility of care and discipline whilst the other is relegated to (or marginalised as) the fun or contact parent.

- It dispels the notion that only one parent is "caring" and that the other is "errant" or "absent".

- It provides the opportunity for children and parents to develop meaningful and lasting relationships - in place of the artificiality and frustrations of contact .

- It affirms the parents in their belief that they both have an ongoing role in their child's life.

- It places both parents on an equal footing with schools, doctors and the world at large - who might otherwise only want to deal with the residential parent.

- It confirms that no matter what, each parent wants to, and is able to, provide a home for their child.

- It reassures the child that in the event of one parent dying he still has a home to go to.

- Without such an order, if one parent dies, the child would not automatically go to live with the other parent, but would be left with whoever they were living with at the time or handed over to a guardian - a poor substitute for a natural parent.

Children whose parents share parenting actually do better than children living with just one parent. Research shows clearly that the children who best survive their parents break-up are those maintaining significant and positive relationships with both parents. Research on adolescents in Northern California, showed that those in a shared parenting situation (four nights or more with each parent every two weeks) had higher levels of satisfaction than those living with one parent. It also showed that shared parenting can be successful even with high conflict between parents since it allowed children to keep good relations with both parents. (from One Parent Families Scotland)

SPIG Parenting Time, Parenting Plans, Separation Agreements
2. Separating Parents Access & Resource Centre (SPARC)

SPARC's goal is to ensure that children of divorce continue to have meaningful relationships with both parents, regardless of marital status. We advocate on behalf all non-custodial parents to ensure they get equitable treatment in court and continued access to their children. In addition, we work to promote gender equality in Divorce and Custody issues.

SPARC recognizes the value of fatherhood and supports the concept of true joint custody, where parents work together for the best interests of their children. When joint custody is not possible or workable, we often advocate for fathers as custodial parents. Statistics show that custodial fathers are the most likely to encourage a positive relationship between their children and the other parent and to raise happy, healthy children.

SPARC operates as a provider of information and support resources, and we provide our services without cost. The information and services available through SPARC can be used to great effect, but they will not help a parent "cheat" their way to custody. We work to promote fair and equitable treatment, not to give one parent or the other an unfair advantage.
I wish I could spend equal time with both Mum & Dad
Postcards from Splitsville -Children Expressing Themselves About Divorce
1 guest and 0 members have just viewed this.

Recent Tweets