If you are considering separating, or have just separated, we have prepared a checklist, in no particular order, of the 10 most important things you can do to ensure the best outcome for the children.
Below is a summary, but take the time to read the full checklist and explanations here.
1. Communicate with your Ex-Partner
Good parenting requires excellent teamwork by the parents, whether they are separated or not.
2. Take Parenting Advice
Separation creates a new parenting dynamic. Adapting to that dynamic can require assistance from experts.
3. Involve yourself in Counselling
You can book counselling sessions with a specialist counsellor through the government funded Family Relationship Centre or through a private counsellor of your own choice.
4. Focus on the Children’s Needs
Following the breakdown of a relationship, tensions can be intense. The children’s needs can easily be relegated to a lower priority while parents deal with their own emotional issues. DON’T ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN.
5. Don’t involve the Children in any Parenting Dispute
Speaking to the children about the nature of any dispute, seeking their views, or commenting to them negatively about your ex-partner, will be highly damaging for the children.
6. Communication with Your Children
The children will have questions which you should answer truthfully, in a way that acknowledges their feelings and reassures them that their parents are working together to create a constructive solution to their concerns.
7. Take Legal Advice
A good lawyer will guide you through the complexities of what, for most people, is a novel and unknown journey. That lawyer can direct you to the non-legal services and support you will need on that journey.
8. Arrange Child Support
Adequate child support ensures that the children have the physical security necessary to underpin a constructive parenting arrangement.
9. Don’t Tolerate Domestic Violence
If you have any concerns, raise them immediately with your lawyer, your counsellor or with any professional with whom you are dealing concerning the children.
10. Arrange a Parenting Plan
The best way to provide emotional security for the children is for their parents to agree on, and implement, a thoughtful parenting plan as soon as possible after separation.
If you have questions regarding Parenting issues if you are considering a separation or have separated please contact our Family Law Team.
You may also like to attend one of our free Family Law Information sessions to learn more and ask about your situation. You can find information and register for an upcoming Family Law Information sessions on our events page.