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Shared parental responsibility: what is it and is it possible to get “sole parental responsibility”?

Australia’s Shared Parental Responsibility, as defined by the Family Law Act 1975, requires both parents to make decisions regarding issues affecting the long-term welfare of their child. Such decisions include where the child will live, what school the child will attend, what religion the child will practise and what medical treatment the child may receive.

In a divorce or separation, it is important to note that the parents of a child automatically have shared parental responsibility for that child. This is unless an order of the Court states otherwise.

The presumption of Shared Parental Responsibility can only be rebutted according to Section 61D (a) of the Family Law Act where there has been child abuse, family violence or if the Family Court considers that shared parental responsibility for the child would be inappropriate on the facts.   

In order to get an order for Sole Parental Responsibility, it must be proved to be in the child’s best interests.

See Family Law blogsite for examples of cases

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