Cautionary notes on the shared care of children in conflicted parental separations

5 May 2008

The shared physical care of children following separation has long been a complex issue, and is again in the spotlight following the passing of the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act 2006. Of course, in general, children benefit from having both parents involved in their lives; but the problem for those involved in family law is to help the parties work out what is best for the children in each particular case. Unfortunately, the circumstances of families that come into the family law system can be unusual and troubling, and working out what is best in particular cases often poses difficulties and challenges. Statements about what is generally good for children are not always a sufficient basis for giving advice and making decisions in these cases. We need to look carefully at the specific facts of each case.

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