Parental Responsibility – what does it mean?

One of the first things to be considered when deciding on future care for the children is ‘parental responsibility’.

Parental responsibility is not how much time you spend with the children, but rather how major long-term decisions about the children will be made. This can either be “equal shared” or “sole”, or a combination of both. The presumption at law, unless the Court can be convinced otherwise, is that there be “equal shared parental responsibility”.

Major long-term decisions include:

  • the child’s name;
  • education (what schools the children go to);
  • religious and cultural upbringing;
  • major health issues (i.e. medical procedures and treatments); and
  • living arrangements which make it significantly more difficult for the children to spend time with one parent (i.e. relocating to a different city).

You can agree on parental responsibility, and document how you want major long-term decisions to be made about the children in a Parenting Plan or making an Application for Consent Orders for parenting orders.

If you and your former spouse agree on parenting arrangements and equal shared parental responsibility, you can create your agreement online with Forward>>. through our website.


For more information about your parenting arrangements and parental responsibility give us a call here. Our lawyers can discuss your needs and goals with you and help you finalise your settlement agreements quickly and cost-effectively.