Even the best of relationships founded on love and trust can sometimes turn sour, resulting in disintegration of the family unit and separation from children. Emotional upheaval, anxiety, anger and heartbreak are all evident, and establishing future focus is important in order to create a suitable living environment, particularly where children’s issues are concerned. Fortunately, there are strategies you can implement to assist during the transition.
What are the top tips for separating parents?
Regret, remorse and even relief are typically experienced by separating parents. With so much on the mind and strained relationships impacting daily life, it’s not uncommon for children to be confronted by arguments, violence or psychological abuse. Immediate action should be taken to release the pressure and provide a more stable environment during the separation process. Here are ten tips for assisting your child during separation.
1: Don’t force or encourage your child to take sides with one parent, particularly when you expect there will be arrangements made for shared care arrangements for the child.
2: Try not to criticise or denigrate your ex-partner or spouse in front of the child. Try a balanced and fair approach.
3: Remain as calm as possible and don’t be hostile, argue or yell in front of the child, as it can significantly affect his or her health and wellbeing.
4: Negotiate a co-parenting plan with your ex that places the needs of your child as a high priority.
5: Establish consistent rules for shared responsibilities, allowing both parents to be on the same page regarding bedtime, homework, online time, etc.
6: If possible, retain good relationships with the child’s grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members to establish a stable transition during and after separation.
7: Take a parenting class, attend family therapy and explore other avenues with your ex-partner to establish suitable guidelines for raising your child.
8: Reassure your child they are loved by both parents, and that both parents will continue to spend time with them.
9: Reassure your child they were not the cause of separation or divorce and there is no need to feel any guilt.
10: Provide ongoing encouragement and inspiration for your child to provide confidence, self-esteem and happiness.
Should you talk to your children about your separation?
When children are embroiled in separation issues, the problems get worse rather than better. However, if separation discussions are future-focussed, without apportion of blame but the acceptance of mistakes made, children can be guided caringly during the transition.
Here are a few suggestions that will help your child understand the separation situation with a minimum of disruption:
- Be honest with your children, but don’t overshare negative details or opinions
- Don’t behave in ways that force your child to choose between parents
- Put on a positive face despite external pressures to ensure your child feels protected
- Keep discussions simple, civil and focused on a better future for everyone
How can separation and divorce affect children?
Separation has both short and long term effects on children. In fact, serious psychological problems can arise many years after separation, as the child develops greater insight and understanding. Short-term impacts of separation and divorce can be noticed in emotional struggles, anger and sadness. Other negative traits include loneliness, isolation, separation anxiety, guilt, worry or blame, depending on the circumstances.
Separation isn’t easy on anyone, and there are often long-term effects. It’s well known that children from broken homes are more likely to experience criminality, drug use, depression and their own broken relationships. With a broken family unit comes great responsibility to ensure the negative cycle is broken and an optimistic outlook achieved. In some cases, the best approach is to construct a shared ‘parenting plan’ with the assistance of a dedicated Taylor & Scott Family Law expert.
Do you have to pay child support when separated?
Payments made to support your child or children under legal obligation are known as ‘child support’. Both parents are responsible for financially supporting their children in the system governed by the Department of Human Services. The responsibility to financially support a child is not changed in the case of:
- Separation and divorce
- Remarriage of a parent
- Where the child lives
- The amount of time spent with a parent
As an alternative, you can establish a private child support agreement which can be included in a parenting plan. Child support and separation issues can be complex, but with the support of Taylor & Scott Lawyers, you can make the right choices, achieve harmony, and prepare a bright future for your child.
At Taylor & Scott, We Care For You.