Back to the blog
sharing parenting responsabilities

Sharing Parenting Responsibilities: A Guide for Australian Co-Parents

Parenting has a lot of responsibilities. In fact, many co-parents will comment on just how many are involved when they sit down and list out the shared responsibilities. It isn’t that they weren’t always there…they were… but a lot of parenting is hidden work—things that you do without even realizing that you are doing it as

So it is no surprise that many parents who are now experiencing co-parenting end up struggling with how to share those parenting responsibilities. Thankfully, we are here to guide you through with some important tips.

Shared Parenting Responsibilities in Australia

Before we launch into the tips, it is really important to understand how parenting responsibility works in Australia. First, parenting responsibilities means all of the duties, powers and authority that you have regarding your children. You are responsible to provide for the best needs of your children and you have the right to make decisions for your child.

Second, parents have the right to make decisions about their child independently from the other parent. What that means is that a major decision doesn’t need to be run past the other parent before it is made.

Third, for parents to have equal shared responsibilities, they need to request a court order (or make one) so that both parents are needed to make major decisions for the children.

Now that we know the parameters of parenting responsibilities in Australia, let’s look at how to share those parenting responsibilities that you have.

Tip Number One: Figure out the Expenses

The first thing that you should do when sharing parenting responsibilities is to figure out expenses. Child support payments often cover the living expenses but none of the extras. Things like school uniforms, school supplies, emergency payments for dental, etc. are not usually factored into the child support payments.

That means that parents have to agree to what they are paying out in addition to child support and how those extra expenses are going to be shared. This is really important as it can often be one of the biggest conflict topics between co-parents. Our advice is to use a co-parenting app that tracks expense spending so everyone knows what their share is and you don’t have to argue about it later.

Tip Number Two: Be Realistic

Parenting can be emotional and co-parenting can add all new layers to how you are feeling as a parent. That is why it is so easy to step into the sandbox and start arguing with your co-parent over decisions and other matters. The best tip that I can give you on this is to be realistic and put those emotions aside.

If you need to, take a step back and compose yourself and work through your emotions first. If you approach your co-parent upset, it can lead to a possible conflict, which is something you do not want to have happen.

With decisions, think about what you want to give your children realistically, what you can compromise on and what you won’t. Then discuss these things either in person or through email or a mediation app. When you take the emotion out of shared parenting responsibilities, you can move forward much easier.

Tip Number Three: Agree to Rules and Routines

Routines change as your kids grow up and they will also change as a co-parent; however, one of the best ways to share parenting responsibilities is to sit down and work out what the kids’ rules and routines will be.

Once you have them worked out, both parents need to follow them. If there are going to be any changes to those routines or rules, both parents need to sit down and agree to them. Don’t change a rule or routine without discussing it with your co-parent first. By doing this, you are showing that you are in a partnership and while it may not be the same partnership you had when you were together, it can be just as nurturing for your kids and filled with respect for each other as before.

Tip Number Four: Divide the Harder Responsibilities

Even if you aren’t with your kids, there can be some responsibilities that you take over completely for the other parent so things aren’t 100% on their shoulders or yours. Things like deciding who will do all the doctor appointments, who will do dental appointments and so on can be split up. You can also work out shuttling to and from events, especially if an activity or event falls on your visitation days.

When you share the busy work, it helps both parents feel like they are involved in their children’s lives, even when they aren’t with them all the time.

Tip Number Five: Share, Share and Share

Finally, share information with your co-parent. Let them know what is happening with the kids, with schedules and if you are doing the doctor’s appointments, with their doctors.

In addition to that, share when you are overwhelmed and need some help with your responsibilities. It is better to ask for help than to allow things to become overwhelming. We all have periods when work is putting more responsibilities on us or there might be life things happening where you need to shift some of the parenting responsibilities. And be open to being that emergency resource for your co-parent. The more you are able to share, the more connected your extended family will feel in this co-parenting dynamic.

By following these tips, you can be sure to provide your kids with the absolute best care they need all while sharing the parenting responsibilities with your co-parent. This will only have continued benefits for you, your kids and everyone involved with your family from stepparents to grandparents and beyond.

Why 2houses?

We are a co-parenting facilitator!


A calendar for everyone, getting organised when you’re divorced is a priority. 2houses provides you an online shared schedule, with many editing, adding, and sync features.


For us, as divorced parents, the financial topic is most of the time a conflict topic. Now, 2houses manages all expenses from each parent, keeps you informed on the situation, day after day, coins after coins.


Communication is key, this is why 2houses offers you an online messaging tool, simple, efficient and secure.


The journal is your quick family social network. You can easily share all information, news, photos, videos, and even your children’s funny quotes. The family is never far away, no matter where you are geographically located.

And many more features!

Try 2houses for your family

We offer a 14-day trial to test our services and start improving your family life!

Get started!