There is no hard/fast rule that states children must spend equal or 50/50 time with each parent but there is something called equal shared care.
After rigorous lobbying by fathers’ groups in 2006 when John Howard was in government Howard changed the law to make equal shared care the first preference in family matters pertaining to parenting orders.
That meant a judge had to pass up the 50/50 shared parenting option before they looked at any other care option.
Since 2006 there has been a significant rise in the number of children in equal shared care arrangements.
The aforementioned change in the law brought about by the Howard government meant that the 1975 family law act was effectively amended so that it “emphasized” 50/50 parenting arrangements and referred to them as “equal shared care”.
So, for a Judge – and here lies the real kicker – this meant that they must give equal shared care serious thought provided there was no evidence of family violence or abuse to a child.
And now we see why false domestic abuse claims and/or questionable protection order applications that bolster Federal Circuit Court applications for parenting orders, are so popular.
False domestic abuse claims and/or questionable protection order applications that bolster Federal Circuit Court applications for parenting orders are all about ensuring the Judge rejects the concept of equal shared care; which can facilitate alienation.
So, as I alluded to at the start of this post, just because the legislation promotes equal shared and/or 50/50 parenting that by no means, means that equal shared care and/or 50/50 parenting is an automatic right for any parent.
Usually when the Judge hands down their decision, irrespective of what each parent or even the child wants, above all else, the Judge must consider what is in the child’s best interests and he does that by looking at the relevant factors of section 60CC of the family law act.
Hope that helps.