The breakdown of a relationship can emotionally be very hard for all parties. This is sometimes made worse by uncertainty over what you should be doing when it comes to making decisions about your children.
There are often big decisions about where the children are going to live and what time the other parent may have with the kids.
Under the Family Law Act it is assumed that parents have equal shared parental responsibility, whether they are the par- ent who has the children living with them or only spending some weekend time with them. This means both parents have to de- cide on the major long-term issues. These could include what name a child has, what religion the child practises and major medical issues. Everyday decisions, such as what a child eats, what a child wears are the responsibility of the parent the children are with at the time.
The only time a parent doesn’t have equal shared parental responsibility for the chil- dren is when a court order states otherwise. If a court order states a parent has sole parental responsibility, then they do not have to consult with the other parent on major long term issues.
In a situation where you do not have a court order, the other parent still has equal shared parental responsibility.
It is very important to know where you stand in relation to your obligation to communicate and consult with the other parent regarding important long-term decisions for your children.
It is always better to obtain legal advice regarding disputes relating to parenting issues. Danielle Cartwright, our resident Family Law Solicitor is able to provide you with advice.