Most separating parents want an ongoing and meaningful relationship with their children. They will, after all, be parents for life.
But what is the key to parenting effectively, while living in separate houses?
Parents will often each have different ideas regarding parenting, but that does not mean that one or the other parent is wrong, they are just different. And the differences are to be celebrated – those differences provide the children with two separate, and not necessarily opposing, view points.In order for a shared parenting agreement to work, these two people have to find a way to work with their differences. Firstly, children are very intelligent, they know when a weakness or difference of opinion appears in the approach being taken by their parents. Anyone with children will know they will play these two parents against each other to gain an outcome they see as beneficial to themselves. This play off isn’t overtly selfish.
Very young children will, early in the break-up, state to both parents that they don’t want to go to the other. This has nothing to do with choosing one parent over the other. This break-up is very unsettling for the child, so the child may seek the exact same loving and caring response from both their parents to make themselves feel safe .It is important for parents to recognise this and be able to maintain a basic and civil level of communication, just to protect themselves from being exploited. It is helpful for the children for them to focus, not on the differences, but basics that perhaps they substantially agree upon. This way they can support one another in parenting decisions – provided same are basic to the child’s welfare and do not create any risk to the children. The Court considers the parent’s ability to talk to one another about their children to be of paramount importance when looking at a co-parenting regime. It is deemed by the law to be in the children’s best interests that parents share the responsibility for the children’s care, but this becomes impossible if the two parents cannot cooperate together on some level.
Being able to speak to one another civilly and make decisions about your children, even when you do not entirely agree with the other party, is of fundamental importance if it is your goal to be a share parent. Celebrate your different views, they introduce the children to diversity of thought! Agreeing on a set of basics you can live with, will lead to happier and more effective parenting.
To discuss your Family Law matter feel free to contact us today. Bennett Carroll Solicitors have offices located in Brisbane, Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.