Book a Consult

Shared Parenting Arrangements

If you and your partner have separated and you have children, you may need to create a shared parenting arrangement (aka a shared care arrangement). While this can be done between yourselves, you might also need the assistance of a third party – especially if you cannot agree. At Culshaw Bishop Lawyers, our team of family dispute resolution lawyers are experienced in assisting separated couples in amicably resolving their parenting disputes.

What are shared parenting arrangements?

A shared parenting arrangement outlines which parent a child will live or spend time with after their parents’ divorce or separation. A shared parenting arrangement does not mean the child has to spend equal split time between both parents. The arrangement will depend on the child’s individual needs. A shared parenting arrangement may be considered inappropriate where safety concerns exist.

What is a parenting order?

A parenting order is a legally binding and enforceable document setting out the parenting arrangements for a child. Parenting orders may include matters of:

  • Who the child lives with
  • How much time the child will spend with each parent (and others, such as grandparents)
  • The allocation of parental responsibility
  • The level of communication the child engages in with the parent they do not live with
  • Any and all aspects of care, development, or welfare of the child

What are the most common child custody arrangements?

The law supports a meaningful relationship between both parents and the need to protect the child from psychological and physical harm. In most cases, the shared parenting arrangements will be based on what is most beneficial for the child. However, there are three commonly used arrangements that can benefit both the parents’ and child’s needs and lifestyles. Our team of family lawyers can work with you to come up with a child custody arrangement that suits your circumstances.

2-2-3 Arrangement: 

This arrangement is suitable for younger children.

  • Monday & Tuesday: Parent 1
  • Wednesday & Thursday: Parent 2
  • Friday to Sunday: Parent 1
  • Monday & Tuesday: Parent 2
  • Wednesday & Thursday: Parent 1
  • Friday to Sunday: Parent 2


2-2-5 Arrangement: 

This arrangement is suitable for middle and high school children who have busier schedules and extracurricular activities.

  • Monday & Tuesday: Parent 1
  • Wednesday & Thursday: Parent 2
  • Friday to Sunday: Parent 1
  • Monday & Tuesday: Parent 1
  • Wednesday & Thursday: Parent 2
  • Friday to Sunday: Parent 2


One week on, one week off: 

This arrangement is suitable for older children who prefer an uncomplicated weekly schedule.

  • Monday to Sunday: Parent 1
  • Monday to Sunday: Parent 2

How are shared parenting arrangements determined?

The paramount consideration of the Court is reaching decisions in the best interest of the child. In reaching this decision, there are many aspects that can help determine how the shared parenting arrangement is finalised. These include but are not exclusive to:

  • Distance between both parents’ homes (including travel time and costs)
  • Family arrangements with other relatives
  • Religious, family, and work commitments that interrupt child care
  • Children’s sporting and social commitments
  • Transport arrangements for children
  • Holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions
  • The sharing of parental responsibility
  • The child’s age and development stage

At what age can a child choose which parent to live with?

There is no fixed age in Australia that determines whether a child has autonomy to choose which parent they wish to live with. When reaching a decision on the parenting arrangement, the Court may give weight to the child’s wishes based on the following considerations:

  • The child’s level of maturity;
  • The child’s insight;
  • The child’s understanding of the situation and
  • Whether the child’s wishes are well informed

Culshaw Bishop Lawyers

  • 08 8464 0033
  • 49 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide, South Australia 5000


Culshaw Miller Lawyers

  • 08 9488 1300
  • Level 8, 233 Adelaide Terrace, Perth, Western Australia 6000


Culshaw Miller Badenoch Lawyers

  • 03 9999 1588
  • Ground Floor, 501 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000