What are the major Long Term Issues that must be made by Parents with Shared Parental Responsibility

Equal Shared Parental Responsibility requiring consultation on the Big 5 Major Long Term Issues for Children 

If a Court makes an Order for Equal Shared Parental Responsibility, then the parents must consult each and at least try or attempt to make decisions jointly about ‘Major Long Term Issues’ for their children.

The ‘Major Long Term Issues’ for a Child are sometimes referred to as “the big 5” as they cover five different areas.

‘Major Long Term Issues’ for a Child are defined to include decisions as to:



  1. the child’s education (both current and future); and
  2. the child’s religious and cultural upbringing; and
  3. the child’s health (including for example a decision to immunise or not immunise); and
  4. the child’s name; and
  5. changes to the child’s living arrangements that make it significantly more difficult for the child to spend time with a parent.

Major long term decisions for a Child should not be confused with decisions about day to day issues for a Child.

Usually the parent who has the care of the Child on that day, will be responsible for decisions about the day to day welfare of the Child while the Child is in their care. Read more in our information sheet Who makes the long term, short term and day to day decisions for the Child.

If the Court makes an Order for equal shared parental responsibility, that does not mean the parents must consult each other about every minor issue relating to the day to day welfare of a Child.

If equal shared parental responsibility applies and a parent does not consult the other parent (and make a genuine effort) in relation to a major long term issue, then they may be in breach (contravention) of the Parenting Order made by the Court.

More Information on Child’s Time with Parents & Parental Responsibility

We also have the following Fact Sheets which will provide you with more information on this topic:


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