Time Spending with children
Many parents see the term equal parental responsibility and think that means equal time spending with their children. This is not correct and one does not necessarily mean the other.
Section 65DAA of the Family Law Act deals with equal time or substantial and significant time with each parent and these are not the same.
The Act specifically states about Equal time that –
1. IF a parenting order provides (or is to provide) that a child’s parents are to have equal shared parental responsibility for the child, the court must:
- consider whether the child spending equal time with each of the parents would be in the best interests of the child; and
- consider whether the child spending equal time with each of the parents is reasonably practicable; and
- if it is, consider making an order to provide (or including a provision in the order) for the child to spend equal time with each of the parents.
Equal time means just that and time is usually counted in terms of nights – how it looks however will differ from family to family. For example some families might have week about arrangements and some may have a 3 – 4 then 4 – 3 arrangement.
In part 3 of our 4 part series we will discuss what the Court will consider with respect to substantial and significant time with children and what this might look like for families.