Let’s first understand Applications for Parenting Orders – these are all orders relating to children and these can be made in the Federal Circuit Court or the Family Court.

Parenting orders cover all aspects of care and welfare arrangements for children including parental responsibility. All parents have legal responsibility for their children aged under 18, unless a Court orders otherwise.

When making parenting orders, the court will presume it’s in the children’s best interests for the parents to have equal shared parental responsibility, unless there has been child abuse or family violence by a parent or a person who lives with the parent.

Other evidence may also convince the court equal shared parental responsibility isn’t in the children’s best interests.

Equal shared parental responsibility means both parents share decision making for major long-term issues about the children’s:

  1. Education
  2. Religious and cultural upbringing
  3. Health
  4. Name
  5. Living arrangements.

This however doesn’t include day-to-day decisions about the children’s care, such as what the children eat or wear. Such decisions are made by the parent the child is living with or spending time with.

If the court decides both parents have equal shared parental responsibility, then they must try to reach an agreement about major long-term decisions.

Sometimes the relationship or circumstances of parents is such that equal shared parent responsibility is not possible.

In such cases the court may order that a parent have sole parental responsibility for the children’s medium to long term issues.

For help understanding your responsibilities as a parent in NSW, contact Rigas Law today: (02) 9635 5333.

What you need to know about Parenting Orders in NSW – Commonly Asked Questions

Alan Rigas Solicitors are Family Law specialists based in Parramatta, NSW. We offer a comprehensive range of family law and de-facto law services. It’s important to know your rights.