Separation can be a difficult, stressful and emotional time especially for children. So what can parents do to make this time less demanding on children and to help them to cope?
From a legal point of view, parents must remember that under the Family Law Act, children’s needs and their best interests are the most important consideration. Parents who are discussing care arrangements for children must remember that courts are not concerned with the wishes of parents, but may take into account the wishes of the children involved in any dispute before the courts.
Where parents can agree on the care arrangements for children, family law solicitors are able to assist parents to document this agreement.
If however, there is no agreement initially between parents, then it may take a while before any agreement is reached. Parents may attend what is called Family Dispute Resolution as a means to mediate and try to reach an agreement. There are a number of resources to assist parents to attend mediation. Relationships Australia and Family Relationships Online provide a good overview of the process.
But during the time that it takes to agree, how can you help your children?
Family law courts and psychologists recognise the importance of parents ensuring that children of a relationship are not involved directly or indirectly in the dispute between parents following separation. Parents should remember that in a large majority of cases, they may be required to co-parent and cooperate with their former spouse about the future arrangements for their children. Not involving children in the dispute also requires not denigrating the other parent in front of the children. Psychologists find this can be especially detrimental to children’s happiness as they will often take on board remarks made and bear the hurt intended for the other parent and this can impact on a child’s short and long term emotional development.
There are a number of resources online that can assist both you and your children to deal with the effect of separation and divorce. Below is a list of recommended resources:-
- Family & Relationship Services Australia
- Relationships Australia
- Family Relationships Online
- Children and Divorce (American Resource)
For assistance and confidential advice about your family law situation, please contact Brisbane family lawyer and accredited specialist Tuskeen Jacobs at email@example.com or 07 3009 8444.