In the last blog we also outlined the different processes that exist to help couples who are separating to resolve all the issues that crop up. You can use the processes for any issue so it’s well worth having a look at the money blog to familiarize yourself with them. We outline all the processes in our initial meeting so that you can make an informed decision about which process is going to be most helpful to you right now.
With regard to making arrangements for children there is no need to formalise things in the same way that you do with money but you can record your arrangements in a written document such as a parenting plan if you feel this would be helpful.
Some parents feel there is no need to make arrangements for when children are with dad and when they’re with mum until the separation actually happens when one person moves out. Other parents put in place arrangements whilst they’re still living in the same house so that their children can adjust to being with just one parent before either parent leaves the family home.
It’s really important that you put in place arrangements that will work for you and your children. Don’t be influenced by other people if you feel that those arrangements won’t work well for you.
It’s also important that you tweak whatever arrangements you make over time. Children change and their lives change and what arrangements worked for them when they were 5 may not work in the same way when they are 9 or 13.
It can also be helpful to ensure you have good and effective communication. You may not be in a relationship with each other any more but you will forever have a relationship as parents and you need to work out what co-parenting looks like for you. If your children struggle with your separation, or with other issues that crop up like school or bullying then how are you going to deal with them together? How will you manage parenting together? This can include the practical arrangements of how you keep on top of when the children are with each parent but it also includes how you will tackle big issues that crop up.
Sometimes it’s useful to find extra support for your children either through your GP, their school, a private counsellor or other professional, or through an online support tool like voices in the middle. Some children can be upset about the separation straight away and then gradually adjust. Other children seem to be OK initially but then find they are affected months (or even years) afterwards. There simply is no one rule and it’s important to be tuned in to any changes in your children’s behaviour. It’s also important to talk to them about what’s happening and what arrangements will be made. This affects them too so it’s important they’re kept informed and that they can say anything that is important to them.
If you’d like more in depth guidance on making arrangements for children and supporting your children as part of you separation then you can download a video webinar together with a workbook that will talk you through making arrangements step by step. Have a look at our online shop.
You may also find these blogs helpful:
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