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    Parenting through a separation

    12/10/19 11:15 AM

    Separation or divorce mean big changes to family life, especially when you have children from the relationship. The way children react to separation will usually depend on a number of different factors, including the family relationship before separation, the age and personalities of the children and the degree of conflict between the parents.

    One of the most difficult stages of separation is to make, at the very least, short-term arrangements about where your children will live until a final agreement is reached. This may include making decisions about who will live in the family home and how much time your children will spend with each parent. Such day-to-day practicalities are crucial to ensure that your children spend time with each parent and continue to feel as part of the family.

    One possibility to consider is whether shared parenting is in your children’s best interests and is a practical arrangement to maintain. Some factors that would impact this include:

    • How close you live to the other parent;
    • If you accept that your children have the right to a meaningful relationship with the other parent;
    • If you are able to resolve any disagreements that come up;
    • If you are not fearful of the other parent; and
    • If you can remain amicable and contain any negative feelings you have towards the other parent, particularly in front of your children.

    Difficulties might arise in making parenting arrangements when there has been domestic violence perpetrated by one parent against the other, or where there is a power imbalance between the parents. In most other circumstances, many parents are able to come to an arrangement without resorting to Court proceedings, which places further strain on all parties involved following a separation.

    Keep in mind that while you are no longer partners or spouses, you both remain parents to your children. It is important to nurture this parenting relationship in a way that is in your children’s best interests.

    If you have further questions, please contact Karla Elias at

    This is not legal advice. 

    Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

    Karla Elias

    Written by Karla Elias