Posted on: 13 August 2018
You may consider yourself to be a responsible parent and would never do anything to harm your children, but sometimes circumstances can get in the way. Unfortunately, you may have decided to separate from your partner and are now worried about the repercussions, but how can you make this a seamless transition so that it doesn't affect the kids?
It's Your Choice
Much will depend on the adults' behaviour during the process of separation. If there's a great deal of acrimony, it's going to be difficult to shield the children, and, like it or not, there could be some emotional turmoil. If, on the other hand, you're able to talk through everything calmly and come to an agreement without any major dispute, then the outcome can be very different.
You will, of course, need to separate all your assets and personal affairs so that you can go your separate ways as individuals, but your parenting responsibilities will continue. This is why you need to come up with a formal plan.
In essence, a parenting plan is meant to describe how the children will interact with each parent following the separation. In other words, how much time will be spend with each parent, and what will the kids do when they are there? You need to make sure that they participate in all of their regular activities and continue to engage in important events and must have joint responsibility to make sure that this happens.
As time goes by, important decisions will need to be made involving education, health care, welfare and so on. Your plan should detail how these decisions are going to be handled collectively so that nothing is left to chance. Obviously, the parental circumstances have now changed, and this will cause a certain amount of disruption, but the objective is to minimise this as much as possible.
Talking About Money
Crucially, the parenting plan should include financial arrangements and confirm how everything will be paid for. In any separation, this can be a very contentious area, and if anything is likely to lead to trouble, it's an argument about money. Remember, you want to avoid dealing with child support agencies and legal agreements if at all possible and should put in place private arrangements instead.
Dealing With Change
Finally, outline how you're going to resolve any disputes or problems and specify how changes can be made to this plan once it has been formalised.
If you're running into trouble as you draw up a parenting plan, get in touch with a lawyer who works in family law to help you get back on track.Share