At Resolve Conflict Family Lawyers and Mediators our focus is always on the children and finding divorce solutions that keep their welfare front and centre.

Coping with parenting when your children are split between two households and two parents, and in some cases, partners and grandparents, is difficult.  You need patience and a good dollop of kindness and understanding to manage your children.  You also need to have a commitment to consistency between parents.  Setting boundaries and keeping disciplinary measures in place will make life easier for everyone all round, including the children.

Here are some tips that will help you along the way:

  • Try to keep the same rules in place that were followed before the separation. If your kids weren’t allowed to watch television after 6pm don’t suddenly decide that it is OK for them to do that. When kids are feeling like their world is changing, they need to have some sameness in their daily routine.  Maintaining household rules and standards can give them a sense of stability.

 

  •  If you have a less than cordial relationship with your ex try to enlist the help of a 3rd party to discuss discipline for the children.  To have consistency across both homes will be a great help to you both, no matter how hard that is to achieve.

 

  •  No matter how hard it is, for your children’s sake, don’t reverse each other’s decisions.  It will only confuse your children.   And don’t say yes when you had agreed to say no.

 

  •  Most of all – don’t discuss your personal views of the other parent with your child and never try to turn your children against the other parent. Remember, this person is still your child’s father or mother and they deserve the right to have their relationship with them untarnished by your views.  In years to come they will be able to make up their own mind, but for now, hold your tongue. No matter how hurt or angry you are, keep your opinions to yourself and spend some time venting with a close friend, not your children.

 

  •  Living between two houses can be tough.  Try to achieve a routine that kids can feel comfortable with which will help make them feel secure, and help them manage the division of clothes and other personal items at home and school so they never have the added stress of being without something as it’s at ‘the other parents house’.

It can be a difficult and awkward time transitioning to a two-parent lifestyle but a good result can be achieved. Above all keep talking with your children about how they are feeling and what they are experiencing.

For more information on how you can separate and divorce with or without court please contact our office  – 9620 0088

 

A Guide To Co-parenting

by resconflict on August 15, 2018

A Guide To Co-parenting Resolve Conflict Family LawyersDivorce signifies the end of a relationship, however for divorced parents it also signifies the beginning of a new type of relationship – the co-parenting relationship.

There is no denying that co-parenting harmoniously with your former partner can give your children the stability, security, and close relationships with both parents they need. The following articles looks at how you can remain calm, stay consistent, and resolve conflicts to make co-parenting work for you and your children.

What is co-parenting?

Co-parenting is when you and your former partner share in raising your children after a divorce or breakup. It means both parents have a hands-on role and share the responsibilities in raising the children.

The basics of a co-parenting is that “…you and your former partner need to make clear decisions about how you’ll parent your child now and in future. It’ll be easier if you can both keep open minds and try to step into your child’s shoes as you work out your co-parenting arrangements. In meeting your child’s needs and your own needs, you might have to make some compromises along the way.”[1]

Related Article: Successful Co-Parenting – Fact of Fiction?

 

Developing a co-parenting plan

A Parenting Plan is a written, agreed and dated document between separated parents on their children’s care, welfare and development.

Parents are able to make their own decisions of what will be included in the Parenting Plan that suit their circumstances. The aim of the Parenting Plan is to agree on how things that affect the children are going to be organised. This may include living arrangements, day-to-day care, holidays, special occasions, medical care etc. By having an agreed plan between parents can reduce misunderstandings and potential disagreements.

Related Article: What to Include in Your Parenting Plan

 

Tips to successfully co-parenting 

Give your former partner time to learn the ropes

“If you did most of the caring for your children before your separation, your former partner might take a little time to learn about the practical side of caring for children. It can be tempting to criticise, but pointing out the positives is much better for everyone.”[2]

Strive For Positive Communication

Work out the best way for you and your ex-partner to communicate with each other in regards to the children. This could be through email, text, phone call or face-to-face conversation. Once agreed upon don’t deviate from the agreed method.

Agree On Consistent Rules For Each Household

It’s no secret that children need routine and structure to feel safe and secure, as well as flourish in their growth. It’s paramount that each parent’s household more or less holds the same rules in regards to bedtime, watching TV, homework, household chores and the like. “Running a tight ship creates a sense of security and predictability for children. So no matter where your child is, he or she knows that certain rules will be enforced.”[3]

Put your kids first

Attempting to sway your child’s alliances away from your ex-partner is not in the interest of your child. The best outcome for any child is to have a healthy relationship with both parents, a child’s affection for one parent is not a reflection of less affection to the other.

 

How to communicate better with your co-parent

Looking at ways to help communication is an obvious solution that will help both parents and their children ease into their new routines.

A Communication Book or Communication Apps are helpful tools that todays separated co-parents can utilise to manage their primary role of looking after their mutual children, whilst keeping each other informed in a low-conflict, minimal contact way.

“A communication book can be a device for separated parents to keep communication between them short and to the point. Parents can choose to use a communication book or a court may order them to use it, particularly if the parents seem unable to communicate with each other.”[4]

The communication book or communication App is used between parents to document matters which they wish to raise with the other to ensure that they are both co-parenting effectively.

What is included in the book or app is up to the co-parents, however common communication includes;

  • Medication updates
  • Sickness updates
  • General health issues
  • School projects
  • Upcoming social events
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Requests to change any parenting times / change a scheduled change over time

Other communication could include more broad information that the other parent might find of interest. For example;

  • Activities the children have enjoyed
  • School awards
  • Updates on developmental progress
  • Changes in food, toy, clothing preferences of the child

There are several Apps that can help co-parents communicate like a physical communication book, however in the convince of an App. Examples include;

Our Family Wizard

Cozi

Coparently

Talking Parents

When a communication book or communication App is used effectively and in the method intended, then they can be a very successful tool to help parents communicate with one another especially if other communication channels have been unsuccessful in the past.

 

Note: This is general information advice only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters, please contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email info@resolveconflict.com.au

 

 

 

[1] Raising Children Network 2016, ‘Co-parenting: getting the balance right’, Raisinghchildren.net.au, 1 January, viewed 15 August 2018, http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/coparenting_tips.html

[2] Raising Children Network 2016, ‘Co-parenting: getting the balance right’, Raisinghchildren.net.au, 1 January, viewed 15 August 2018, http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/coparenting_tips.html

[3] Serani, D 2012, ‘The Do’s and Don’ts of Co-Parenting Well’, Psychology Today, 28 March, viewed 15 August 2018, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/two-takes-depression/201203/the-dos-and-donts-co-parenting-well

[4] Thistleton T, ‘How to Streamline Your Co-Parenting Communication’, Motherly, viewed 15 August 2018, https://www.mother.ly/parenting/how-to-streamline-your-co-parenting-communication

 

6 Things To Consider Before Telling Your Kids About Divorce - Resolve Conflict Family LawyersSpeaking to children about separation and divorce can be a tricky conversation and one you and your soon to be ex-partner want to get right. The following points are a useful guide to consider before telling your child you’re getting divorced.

Make a plan

Know what you are both going to say and how you are going to say it. Together with your spouse dot point key messages that you think are initially important for your child to hear. There will likely be more conversations in the future about what is happening, however the initial conversation needs to concentrate on the imitate facts.

Keep it simple

Obviously your child doesn’t need to know all the details of the end of your marriage, however they do have the right to know what’s happening and how the changes are going to impact their day-to-day lives.

“It’s best if you can explain in clear, simple and honest language your child can understand. For example, ‘We both love you, and we’re going to take care of you. But we’ve decided that it works best for our family if Dad and I live apart’.”[1]

Say it together

Presenting a united front shows your child that you can still work as a team and have their best interests at heart. This is not a time for blame or accusations it’s about guiding your child through uncharted territory of emotions at the same time reassuring them that everything will be ok. 

Related Article: 12 Books to help your children cope with separation and divorce

Address the entire family

“Experts agree that it’s best to have this conversation with the entire family present and then to follow up with each child separately. But if you’re concerned that your older child is going to take the news hard or that her reaction will upset a younger child (after all, a school-age child understands the concept of divorce more than a toddler or preschooler does), you and your spouse may want to talk to each child individually.”[2]

Think like your child

Consider what concerns and worries your child may have about the divorce and how it may affect their lives. They will probably want to know what will change and what won’t change in their day to day lives.

Note: “What you say and what your kids hear may not be the same thing. Most young children (and plenty of older ones too) will blame themselves for the divorce. It’s important to head that one off as soon as possible by telling them directly that it has nothing to do with them…”[3]

Be open to questions

“It will take time for your children to process how they feel. You should expect to have many more conversations with them as the separation and divorce proceed. Both you and your spouse should be open to answering questions and responding to your children’s emotional needs. Be honest with them about what you know and what you don’t know.”[4]

 

Note: This is general information advice only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters, please contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email info@resolveconflict.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

[1] 2016, ‘Helping children adjust after separation or divorce’, Raising Children, 2 Feb, viewed 6 August 2018, http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/separation_helping_children_adjust.html

[2] Moninger J, ‘How to Tell Your Kids That You’re Getting a Divorce, Parents, viewed 6 August 2018, https://www.parents.com/parenting/divorce/children/how-to-tell-your-kids-that-you-are-getting-a-divorce/

[3] Brott, A 2014, 9 Things To Consider Before Telling Your Kids About The Divorce, 26thJuly 2014, viewed 6 August 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/26/what-you-need-to-know-bef_0_n_5615228.html

[4] Moninger, J, How to Tell Your Kids That You’re Getting A Divorce, viewed 6 August 2018. https://www.parents.com/parenting/divorce/children/how-to-tell-your-kids-that-you-are-getting-a-divorce/

 

8 Essential Pieces of Divorce Advice

August 1, 2018

Divorce can certainly be a very trying and stressful time, however there are things you can do to make sure the process is as peaceful as possible. The following 8 pieces of advice aren’t only for dealing with the legal aspects, but also to ensure you survive the emotional roller-coaster ride of the process itself. […]

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5 Ways To Help Your Grandchildren During Divorce

July 25, 2018

The bond between grandparent and grandchild is often a magical one, with grandparents offering a unique sense of fun and security. During separation and divorce grandparents may feel isolated and powerless to help their grandchildren, however this is an important time for grandparents to help their grandchildren transition through their parents’ divorce. Although written with […]

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Successfully Co-Parenting – Fact or Fiction?

July 18, 2018

Parenting in the easiest of circumstances is a difficult task. When you throw divorce into the mix, parenting shifts from day-to-day difficulties to being a myriad of problematic navigations for you and your co-parent. So, is successfully co-parenting fact or fiction? What does successful co-parenting look like? As expected no co-parenting arrangement or methods are […]

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Top Secrets To A Successful Marriage

July 11, 2018

Part in parcel of being a Family Law firm is that we often are discussing and focused on separation, divorce and how the family unit can best legally, emotionally and logistically handle changes in the family dynamics during and after divorce. Today however, we’ve decided to compile the top secrets to a successful marriage, according […]

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Telling Your Spouse You Want A Divorce

July 4, 2018

Broaching the subject of divorce with your spouse is without doubt a delicate conversation. Most of us don’t want to devastate our partners, nor do we want to trigger an all-out war. The following tips look at things to consider prior to discussing divorce with your partner. Note, there is no “one size fits all” […]

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Secrets To An Amicable Divorce

June 26, 2018

It’s no secret, divorce is rarely easy. However if you can find a way to positively navigate through your divorce as amicably as possible, you will undoubtedly save yourself a lot of stress, heartache, time and money. Here are a few ways to help your divorce run as smoothly and as amicably as possible;   […]

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Property Settlement and Divorce: Key Facts You Need To Know

June 20, 2018

What is a ‘Property Settlement’: Generally speaking, property settlement in the context of divorce refers to the division of assets and liabilities between you and your former spouse or de facto partner. This important step finalises the financial ties between you. Without severing this financial relationship, you leave yourself vulnerable to property settlement claims being […]

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Is Mediation An Effective Solution For Your Divorce?

June 13, 2018

Traditionally, the process of divorce can be a long, painful and a costly endeavour, however there are other options divorcing couples can choose that may be more appropriate to their needs, like mediation. Family Law Mediation is a legal, voluntary and confidential process for resolving disputes in which a neutral third party (the mediator) helps […]

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