When you are faced with separation and divorce, one of your biggest concerns will likely be how it is going to negatively impact your children.
While some parents are able to put aside any ill-feelings they have for each other, and provide their children with an environment free from conflict post-separation, other parents tend to struggle with this.
If you are engaging a lawyer to assist you negotiate with your former partner to bed down an appropriate parenting arrangement for your children post-separation, you will often hear the words “best interests of the child”. You will be asked for your view as to what arrangements are going to “best”. It may be the case that what you think is best for your children is entirely different to what their other parent thinks. This is where conflict can ensue.
When negotiating parenting arrangements, we encourage you to be child focused. We encourage you to recognise the importance of your child having a relationship with both parents (unless there are significant risk factors to take into consideration). We encourage you to recognise that, while your intimate relationship with your former partner has broken down, you will always have a co-parenting relationship that you need to work on and foster for the sake of your children.
We are hopeful that, when you take this approach, you will be able to reach agreement and bed down an arrangement that will work for your children and will minimise the negative impact that family breakdown can have on them.
If you are unable to reach an agreement, the court is available to you. That being said, we urge you to consider this to be the last resort.
Keep an eye on our Articles and Resources for when we release further information about parenting arrangements post separation.