Some Things to Know

It is handy to know that some terms or phrases used currently in the family law system.

  • The phrase custody relates to where a child will live, and with whom.

  • Where the phrase “spends time with” is used, it means the time the child spends with the parent that they don’t live with. In the past this has been called contact or access or visitation.

  • The term “communicates with” relates to the child being in contact with another person on the telephone, by letter, email or SMS.

  • Parental responsibility is the responsibility of a parent to make decisions to make sure a children’s needs are met. For example, parental responsibility refers to all duties, powers, and responsibilities which by law each parent has in relation to their children until the children reach the age of 18.

  • Equal shared parental responsibility means that both parents should consult with each other and make an effort to reach agreement on all major issues concerning the children. This can include education, religion, culture, health living arrangements, the child’s name and other important issues.