Shared parenting arrangements, Aaron and Cathy had a 6 year old daughter Brianna, who had remained living with Cathy following separation. At separation Aaron moved to a residence approximately 10 minutes away from Cathy and Brianna. Aaron initially came to us describing an arrangement where he could spend time with Brianna from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon each alternate weekend, and possibly after school one night during the week. Through experience we are aware that clients often come to us following separations, seeking to formalise an arrangement to spend time with their children each alternate weekend. We commonly find that these clients have requested this arrangement based on an assumption that this is the ‘usual arrangement’, but they would actually prefer an alternate arrangement. Following further discussion with Aaron it became apparent that the he would have preferred to spend greater time with Brianna, and wanted the opportunity to be more involved with her weekly activities. However due to work commitments, did not believe an arrangement for equal time would be appropriate.
Aaron and Cathy reached agreement that Aaron would pick Brianna up from school every second Thursday afternoon and return her to school on the following Monday morning. In the week that Aaron did not have Brianna for the weekend, he collected her from school on the Thursday afternoon and returned her to school the following morning. This arrangement meant that Brianna lived with Aaron 5 nights in every fortnight, and was able to spend time with him on a weekly basis. The arrangement also gave Aaron the opportunity to be involved in Brianna’s schooling, as well as enabling him to enrol her in an afterschool activity on a Thursday afternoon which he could attend with her on a weekly basis. Aaron was able to adjust his work roster to work additional hours throughout the week so that he could finish early on the 3 days a fortnight that he collected Brianna from school.
It is important to note that there is no ‘one size fits all’ arrangement in relation to the care of children, and we encourage and assist our clients to reach arrangements that suit their individual families. Arrangements need to take into account a huge array of factors including the age of children, respective location of parents, the relationships between the parents and children, and the additional commitments of parents and children including schooling, employment and extracurricular activities.
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For further information or assistance please contact Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers.
All names and identifying features have been changed for privacy reasons in our case studies. These case studies only have basic detail in them, and you should always bear in mind that every case is unique. These case studies are examples only, and cannot be applied to your circumstances without consideration of all relevant facts.