Recent reviews of the Federal Government’s family law reforms in 2006 have revealed a misinterpretation of the laws in practice.
Professor Alan Hayes, director of the Institute of Family Studies, said that the developmental implications of the new laws were problematic, particularly in relation to the equal shared parent responsibility.
“For about four to five percent of children who are in care arrangements with shared care, there is concern for violence and safety,” Professor Hayes said.
“There’s misunderstanding of the difference between shared parental responsibility and shared care time – those two things are often rolled together,” he said.
Family lawyer Andrew McCormack has said that the recent criticisms of shared parenting laws in the media do not take into account the many factors that have to be considered when making parenting orders.
“Despite some assertions in the media that equal time arrangements should be mandatory, courts need to consider the facts and circumstances of each case, and not have their independence interfered with in an attempt to treat every case the same,” Mr McCormack said.
Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland has said that the wording of the legislation could be improved but is instead looking at launching an education campaign about the legislation to clear up any misunderstandings.
To find out more about shared parenting arrangements, contact Affinity Lawyers.