It is no secret that the process of separation is a difficult one for all involved, particularly children. It is essential that separated parents work together and co-parent effectively to ensure that the impact of the separation is minimalised for the children. Whilst as Family Lawyers, we are well aware that this is not a simple task and that co-parenting with your ex-spouse is not always going to be all rosey, we hope that this Blog will assist in providing some practical tips for those parents who are separated. We are also aware that there are always exceptions and that it is not always safe for the children or a parent to communicate or co-parent with the other parent, for instance in some matters involving mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse and domestic and family violence. If you are a separated parent, here are some practical tips from our Gold Coast Family Lawyers and Logan Family Lawyers:
1. Put the children first:
It is important to remember that the top priority is the well-being of your children. Even though separation is a trying time for parents, it is important to shield children from adult issues and not denigrate the other parent in earshot of the children. It is essential for all children, particularly those who are part of separated families that they have stability and that they feel supported.
Maintaining communication between you and your ex-spouse is essential when it comes to ensuring that your children feel secure. Keeping the channels of communication open can also help ensure that both parents are on the same page when it comes to making decisions, setting rules, and dealing with any challenges that may arise. Whilst you do not have to be best friends, it is important to be civil to one another and for the children to at least see both parents appropriately acknowledging one another, for instance, greeting one another at changeover.
3. Respect Boundaries:
It is important to remember that there are certain boundaries for parents to respect following separation. It is important to respect each other’s space and not impose on the other parent, for instance, do not enter the other parent’s home unless asked and do not question the children about the other parent or their new partner.
4. Focus on the Positive:
Even though separation is a difficult time, it is important to focus on the positive things in the lives of you and your children. Your children should be told that it is totally okay to express their emotions and on occasions they may need the support of a school counsellor or the like. It is a matter of each parent and the children moving forward in their individual family units, which we are well aware, is easier said than done, but here at Advance Family Law, we assist many separated parents advance with their life.
5. Seek Support:
Remember, you do not have to do separation alone. It is definitely a team effort and it assists greatly if you have supportive family and friends. Whilst such support is important, seeking the assistance from a counsellor or psychologist is not uncommon, as it is usually useful to have another person, outside your family and friendship circle, with whom to debrief. Taking care of yourself is an important part of being able to provide the best environment for your children. In addition, seeking Family Law advice from a Family Lawyer early on will assist you navigate the separation pathway and hopefully assist in your co-parenting journey and give you the best chance of avoiding the Court process.
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Should you be separated or contemplating separation and require Family Law advice, please call one of our Gold Coast Family Lawyers or Logan Family Lawyers for a free 15 minute telephone chat on (07) 5679 8016.