Separation is difficult for everyone, but particularly so when you have children. The steps you take immediately following a separation can have a critical impact on both your relationship with your children and your former partner moving forward. It can be so hard and emotions can be high.
However, there are a few practical things that you can do, which will make co-parenting easier and will enable your children to better adjust to life after separation. It will also put you in a better position to effectively co-parent with less stress into the future.
- Don’t involve the children in the dispute. Try to avoid discussing parenting arrangements with them, particularly young children. Don’t put them in the middle of decision-making regarding when they spend time with each parent. Children just need to know and trust that their parents will make decisions that are best for them. And that it’s not something that they need to worry about.
- Have a clear and ideally shared calendar. It’s imperative that both parents and the children know when the kids are moving between households.
- Decide how you will communicate and make it a priority. Often it can be difficult. However, effective communication will ensure that any issues are addressed as opposed to simply escalating.
- Aim to be flexible, but also stick to the schedule or commitments you have made. From time to time, it will be necessary for you to change those arrangements to accommodate the needs of the children. But the children need to know that they would generally be afforded consistency and routine in their care arrangements.
- Be prepared for a roller coaster of emotions. Negative feelings and normal. However, get the help you need so that you can deal with these feelings and that your children as shielded from them.
- Another thing to be mindful of is introducing new partners too early. Introducing the children to new partners too soon after separation can be confusing for them. Pick your timing and make the other parent aware that you intend on doing so.
- Let go of control. Accept that there are different parenting styles. Consider whether your concerns in regards to how the other person parents relate to a preference or an essential issue. Naturally, there are some differences there. Some in which you can tolerate, others will need to be addressed.
Co-parenting after separation can be smooth if both parents are on the same path and remain committed to ensuring the best outcomes for their children. If you need any assistance in your co-parenting after separation, contact us our team of Towoomba family lawyers.