Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers have put together these suggestions to help you navigate this uncertain time with your children.
They have supported many families from Pymble on Sydney’s North Shore and are specialists in negotiating co-parenting plans.
Let’s be honest, all parents want their children to be safe and feel confident.
But when parents break up and are juggling their own emotions, it becomes difficult to maintain a reassuring home environment for children.
There is so much change and complexity during this time, it’s natural for children to feel uncertain and worry. It’s a huge life change.
To navigate this journey, you will need a dependable family law team local to Pymble. Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers are well known family law specialists on Sydney’s North Shore & Pymble.
They can answer your queries over the phone, or you can visit them in St Leonards, only 15 mins from Pymble. View some testimonials of happy clients here.
These simple suggestions will help you to support your children.
Of course, when a relationship breaks down the way you communicate with your ex-partner can be negative. But while you are untangling your lives from each other, the children’s lives continue as normal. To reduce the risk of arguments in front of the children, address communication early with your ex-partner and aim for your interactions to be clear and calm.
Set simple guidelines to keep conversations positive and avoid nasty comments to or about each other. Agree that some topics of conversations are problematic and will be off limits.
Remember it’s ok to say: Let’s talk about this later (without the kids). It gives you time to breath. Calm conversations between you both will help to stabilise the children and protect them from unnecessary stress.
But heated conversations can be unavoidable. Consider switching to written emails or text messages instead. This will give you some time to have a composed response. Be brief and succinct. Written correspondence can be used as evidence later, so avoid contentious banter. If you’re unsure, ask a friend or lawyer to read it before you hit send.
Be equally mindful of clear communication with the children.
Unless it’s about logistics, eliminate any chat about your ex-partner (and any eye rolling!). Animosity will confuse children and they do pick up on every behaviour. Plan important conversations in simple language and leave lots of time for questions.
Set their expectations up ahead of time, so they are clear about where they will live and who will be there for them. Don’t linger on a big issue, try to return to normal conversations as soon as you can, it will make it easier for children to adjust.
Distraction can be a good idea too.
Perhaps a new weekend activity to do together, something that will lighten the mood. Perhaps you could explore Pymble’s local bush walks together or go further afield to find a coastal walk on Sydney’s North Shore. Switch it up, if those teens are resisting any conversations with you, ask a family friend to check in on them.
Good communication will help you to plan co-parenting arrangements. When the plan is complicated, tensions rise, and the children get confused. Keep the plan simple.
Remember if you’re married, you will need to be separated for 1 year before a divorce is finalised. If you are in a de-facto relationship you have up to 2 after your separation to settle the matter. For children this can feel like forever. A sustainable schedule is a workable one, and everyone will find routine.
There are some basic truths for a co-parenting plan to be workable. Firstly, it must serve the best interest of the children. While it may be hard to arrange, children have the right to access the people they love and who love them, including ex-partners and grandparents. Secondly, a co-parenting plan is a shared responsibility of each parent. Think carefully about the logistics, clarify it in writing and stick to the schedule.
Lastly, co-parenting may sound easier if both parents are living under the same roof but seek guidance before you commit to this. You will need specific evidence that proves you’re living as individuals, not a couple.
Seek support quickly if co-parenting becomes unworkable.
The Principal of Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers, Lisa Wagner is a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and an Accredited Family Law Specialist for the past 10 years. She has almost 30 years experience in family law. She’ll be able to negotiate, mediate or litigate a co-parenting agreement for you. Lisa can answer your queries over the phone or you can meet the team in St Leonards.
A simple co-parenting plan is ideal, it is easier for the children to understand, lessens the mundane discussion about logistics between you both and avoids friction.
Be kind to yourself
If you’re composed the children will be more relaxed. Acknowledge this will be a difficult time for you personally and stress levels will rise. By looking after yourself you will make good decisions as a parent and for your future.
Staying active will ease the stress, create thinking time, and guarantee a good night’s sleep. Keep it simple with a quick walk to unwind each day. And it may sound obvious but remember to eat well. Keep it nutritious and balanced. By looking after yourself you will cope with the extra stress and feel more in control.
Seek professional guidance
For parents, separation or divorce can be overwhelming, so seek support early. If they’re local lawyers to Pymble it will be easier for you too.
Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers will guide you through the intricate legal process and facilitate a hassle-free settlement for you. They are well known on Sydney’s North Shore for caring for their clients. When you meet with them, they will:
- Methodically review your case
- Present an assessment of all relevant scenarios for you
- Discuss the options available, and
- Provide you with realistic advice at every stage.
Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers are only 15 mins from Pymble. Their professionalism and sensitivity will keep you on track to finalising your legal separation or divorce.
These posts are only intended as an overview or comment on current issues that may interest you and are not legal advice. If there are any matters that you would like us to advise you on, then please contact us.