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Separating from your partner is often a difficult thing to go through and how both parties choose to handle that separation can determine how well your children adjust to the new situation. It is not uncommon for children to find a way to blame themselves for the separation despite every intention a parent might have to prevent this. Making a conscious effort to minimise the difficulties faced by children in the aftermath of separation can make all the difference.  Speaking to a separation lawyer at the onset of the split may be beneficial in providing you guidance for parenting after divorce, and allow you to set up a positive routine for your children from the start, which will hopefully extend throughout the remainder of the proceedings.

Some suggestions from the perspective of a Separation Lawyer to consider when coming up with parenting arrangements for your family:

1. Introducing Change Gradually

At separation, children find themselves in circumstances where they need to try to cope with many changes and quickly. This might be in the form of changes to where they live, go to school and spending separate time with each of their parents and extended family. In these circumstances, adhering to a similar routine as before might really help with the transition. For example, working together with the other parent so that children can attend the same school, extra-curricular activities and spend time with their friends as they did before can offer some stability and better equip them to deal with the other changes. Things like introducing new partners or relocating to another area may be responded to more positively if exposed in a more gradual fashion.

2. Communicate and Plan with the Other Parent

The more united you are with the other parent in your presentation to the children, the better they will adjust to the separation. Of course, you cannot force the other parent to cooperate especially if they don’t see the situation as you do, but things you might decide to do differently can be very helpful to your children. For example, discussing what arrangements might work and informing the other parent of your plans with the children can remove a lot of uncertainty and confusion that no doubt will find its way in when a family are adjusting to two households. Parents that are consistent to children with their rules and avoid blaming each other automatically create an environment where children do not feel they have to choose or support one parent over the other.

3. Focus on the Bigger Picture

The hope is that parents and their children can find a way to move forward positively as even though the relationship has broken down, the role of parent is for a life time. With that in mind, avoiding criticism of the other party’s parenting style, particularly to the children, will help in preserving amicable relationships for the long haul. At the end of the day, as long as the other’s parent’s behavior is not causing harm to the children, it is far more advantageous to promote and encourage a child’s time with the other parent than it is to compare and criticise.

If you need assistance with sorting out parenting arrangements for your children, speak to a separation lawyer from the family law team at Matthews Folbigg.  Our team of family lawyers consists of Accredited Family Law Specialists and Accredited Mediators who can provide you with advice for what you need.

Click here for more information on Parenting and Custody Disputes.

You can also contact us on 1800 300 170 or email us at

Family law situations can be complex and sometimes they can involve serious issues.  Information outlined is proposed to provide general guidance only. Due to the seriousness of legal matters as well as the uniqueness of your individual situation, professional advice should be sought. For advice, please contact one of our Family Lawyers.