In order to understand shared care and control, it is important to note the difference between (A) care and control and (B) custody.

Care and control

Care and control is about the right to take care of a child and to make day-to-day, short-term decisions concerning the child's upbringing and welfare.

This may include deciding on:

-what the child will wear today.

-what the child will eat today.

-when the child with go to bed tonight.

Thus, the party that has care and control will normally have the child living with that party.Equivalently, the party who has the child living with him or her will normally be the party that has care and control.


Custody alone is about the right to make the more important, longer-term decisions concerning the upbringing and welfare of a child.

This may include:

-the type of education the child is to undergo as this concerns the more important and long-term aspects of a child's upbringing.

-(depending on the importance of this decision to the child's education), the particular school.

Shared care and control

Shared care and control means that the child(ren) spend about equal amounts of time with each parent, for eg,:

-3 days with the father and 4 days with the mother.

-a week with the father and the next week with the mother.

-two weeks with the father and the next 2 weeks with the mother.

It is also important to note that shared care and control is very rare and the court will not make this order unless it is satisfied that it is in the child(ren)'s interests.

In order to get this type of order, it is helpful:

-for the parents to live close to each other (and also close to the child(ren)'s school).

-for the child(ren)'s care arrangements to already be split between the parents and they have already established stable (and separate) households (that are near to each other and to the child(ren)'s school(s)

The above is not legal advice and should not be taken as such.

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