Separating or getting a divorce is a difficult and emotional time. Such a decision is even more complex when children are involved.
These are all challenging parenting questions that demand answers for mothers and fathers. Let our family lawyers help you get through
this stressful time and protect both your children and yourself.
Remember, relationship conflict significantly impacts on your children. Protecting them during and after a separation is extremely important as it is often a time of high conflict. We strongly advise you to stay as calm and rational as possible, and to ensure that your children are never exposed to the family law settlement or any discussions between you and your partner. The children didn’t ask to be put in the middle, so treat them with respect. Psychological problems are common among children who don’t adjust well to a relationship break-up.
Children at various ages generally respond differently to separation and divorce. Young children (under nine) depend on and are attached to
their parents. They will experience and show grief and anxiety about the loss of the family unit and the security gone with it. Older
children may intensify their anger, or pull away and communicate less. This can exaggerate the situation as parents blame themselves or each
The first step is to receive legal advice about your parenting situation, outlining your rights and responsibilities regarding the children. Our role as family law experts is to always consider what is best for the children, even when acting for you and protecting your interests. If necessary, we may also communicate with the other party on your behalf, in order to resolve parenting issues.
The Family Court usually provides for ‘equal shared’ parental responsibility between parents. This means both parents have an equal say in major decisions which will impact the children long term. However, this doesn’t always mean the children will spend equal time with both parents. There are exceptions in cases of abuse, family violence or neglect. Understanding your rights and obligations is important, so talk over your individual situation with our experienced and helpful divorce lawyers.
The Court will always focus on the childs best interest. If possible, it is ideal that children have a relationship with each parent
and spend regular time with both parents.
Always remember, Court is not your only option and in fact, a last resort. If your separation is amicable and you and your ex-partner have already reached an agreement, it still needs to be legally formalised to avoid any later confusion or misunderstandings. This may be in the form of a Parenting Plan or Consent Order.
If you have questions or issues around separation and how it might impact on your children, ask for one of our divorce lawyers to help.
See a family law solicitor to professionally help you negotiate both short-term and long-term arrangements that you can rely on. Our focus is usually on a set routine for the children that will provide stability, calmness and prioritise their all-important well-being and mental health.