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Shared Parenting in Perth Western Australia.

Navigating the Waters of Shared Parenting: The Success Story of Mary and Mark Constopolo

The Initial Challenge

Mary and Mark Constopolo (not their real names) had been residents of Doubleview in Perths North suburb for years. They had built a life there, but over time, realised that they were better off apart. Though the decision to separate was mutual, the real concern was how to maintain a stable environment for their three kids: Emily, Cindy, and Brad.

Consultation with a Family Lawyer

Given the complexities of the situation, Mary and Mark decided to consult a family lawyer in Perth to understand the legal landscape of shared parenting in Western Australia. Their lawyer guided them through the Family Court Act 1997 (WA) and the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), emphasizing the principle that the child’s best interests must be the primary concern.

Crafting a Parenting Plan

With legal advice, Mary and Mark created a detailed parenting plan. They agreed to ‘equal shared parental responsibility,’ which meant that they would jointly make long-term decisions about the kids’ education, health, and other major issues.

Arrangements Made

Given the ages of the kids and the proximity of their homes in Doubleview, they opted for an arrangement that would cause minimal disruption. Emily, Cindy, and Brad would spend weekdays with Mary, as her work schedule allowed for school pickups and emergency situations.

Mark would have the children from Friday evening to Monday morning, ensuring he could spend quality time with them over the weekend.

Mediation and Conflict Resolution

Though the initial plan was sound, Mary and Mark had differences about holiday arrangements and child discipline approaches. They opted for mediation to iron out these issues. A trained mediator helped them reach a compromise that suited both parents and met the children’s needs.

Communication Channels

Both Mary and Mark established a shared digital calendar that listed school events, doctors’ appointments, and extracurricular activities. They also committed to a fortnightly meeting—sometimes in person and sometimes via video call—to discuss any issues or changes that needed to be made to the parenting arrangement.

Child Support and Financials

Since both parents contributed to the household income, they also reached an amicable agreement on child support, based on guidelines provided by their family lawyer. Each parent agreed to contribute to a shared bank account used exclusively for the children’s educational and medical needs.

The Final Outcome

With the help of the law, mediation, and a willingness to collaborate, Mary and Mark successfully navigated the waters of shared parenting. Emily, Cindy, and Brad adjusted well to the new arrangement, appreciating that both parents were still actively involved in their lives. Annual reviews were set in place to modify the plan as the kids grew and their needs changed.

Today, the Constopolo family serves as a positive example of how shared parenting can work when both parents commit to putting their children’s best interests at the forefront.

Mary and Mark worked collaboratively for the best interests of their children despite the frustrations they had with each other and this bodes well for good realtionships of children and parents as they grow older and stable and positive growth for their kids.

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