Information about helping to protect your child during separation and divorce and when co-parenting.
Factual information about the Australian Family Law System.
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Have you separated and have dependent children?
Interact Support provides post separation parenting help.
There are a lot of decisions to be made when you go from being a couple to being separated parents.
The ideal is that parents work together for their child’s best interests. The problem is that you may find that really hard.
Parenting after you separate can get caught up in your feelings for each other.
What you are feeling probably varies from hour to hour and day to day. That’s OK and normal when dealing with the grief associated with loss. Even if you thought you were OK with the separation there will probably be things from when you were together that you miss. If only the financial security of being in a two parent family.
Some people get stuck in strong emotions and that can cause problems for them and for their children.
Some families have problems with Family Violence. View our post on What is Family Violence? to find out more about that.
New Ways for Families
Ending a marriage or de facto relationship doesn’t mean the end of your relationship if you have children.
The New Ways for Families teaches you new skills needed to co-parent and to try to avoid becoming a high conflict case in Family Court.
Even if your relationship wasn’t one that experienced high levels of conflict you probably feel angry, disappointed and possibly sad about the end of your marriage, at least part of the time.
If you have experienced family violence or have been accused of being a family violence perpetrator things are likely to be even more stressful. There may have been separation violence or even a history of violence in the relationship. One of you may have spent a lot of time and energy on controlling the other and isn’t quite ready to let go yet.
You will without question go through the ups and downs of grief one moment feeling relieved and the next considering getting back together. Sometimes having angry and hateful feelings about your former partner and other times feeling depressed and hopeless.
If you find yourself getting stuck in any of these emotional states you may need a bit more help. Going to see your local family doctor is a great first step.
They can refer you on to a psychologist for some counselling support.
The New Ways for Families online course also helps you to learn the four big skills for resilience following separation – Find out more
You are most likely not at your best and most collaborative and neither is your former partner.
Family Dispute Resolution
Now, more than ever, your children need you to be the parent and able to support them through all the changes they will experience in the coming months and years.
In the majority of cases, even if there has been some family violence, the children will continue to have contact with you both.
You may have shared care where the children share their time between sleeping at your house and your former partners.
The child may live with one of you and spend significant and substantial time with the other.
If that is not possible then there will still probably be some form of contact between parents and children.
It is generally considered, based on research on post-separation outcomes for children to be in the child’s best interest to maintain a relationship with their parents and extended family.
Family Dispute Resolution can help with all of that decision making at a time when you are probably feeling angry and upset with your former partner. You may even be feeling angry at their parents and other family members over things that have been said and done during the breakup and before.
Family Dispute Resolution provides a supported way to work out and then modify parenting agreements without the cost and drama of going to court. You or your former partner may have resisted the concept of sharing care for your children and have ended up in Family Court. Even if you have court orders they are unlikely to be the best arrangement for your children long-term until they grow up.
You can usually use Family Dispute Resolution services to tweak parenting arrangements even if they have been made into a Court Order.
Mediator Facilitated Negotiation
Family Dispute Resolution, known as FDR or Family Law Mediation, provides practical help to work out parenting agreements and to review them as your children grow or your situation changes.
Sometime meeting face to face online isn’t appropriate but there are still issues to be worked through and resolved.
Mediator Facilitated Negotiation is more efficient and less expensive than lawyer negotiation and can be useful in cases where people can’t or don’t want to pay for lawyers to negotiate on their behalf.
It is called Meditator Facilitated Negotiation because it is still up to you to make your own decisions about what is and isn’t acceptable to you.
This may be for you if family dispute resolution has been considered to be not a suitable process due to safety concerns or refusal. Even if a section 60i Certificate has been issued, you don’t have to go to court. The court process is stressful, expensive and will only make your relationship with your co-parent worse.
If you are co-parenting there will be hassles from time to time or perhaps more often than that!
Changeovers, time swaps and reimbursement of money spent can all be times of conflict.
Co-parenting apps can help to keep the communication civil and stop abuse of phone or email access.
Ask a Mediator
Is it OK for only one side to have a lawyer in Mediation? #Ask a Mediator.