It is an all too common experience that couples keep a struggling relationship going for the sake of the children. A relationship that is abusive, high conflict or toxic does not benefit you or the children. Children should be nurtured in stable and caring homes. This does not necessarily mean that both parents need to live in the same home. In these cases, a separation is often the best way forward for all involved.
Why do mother’s stay in relationships for their kids?
For couples with kids, it’s not always easy to admit that it’s time to call it quits on the relationship. The bond a parent has with their children is probably one of the strongest bonds a person can feel. It is no surprise that parents will sacrifice their personal happiness for what they feel is best for the kids. Staying together is perceived to provide the children with stability, regular contact with each parent and security.
However, the tides are changing. Staying in a relationship just so the kids can have both parents under the same roof may be doing more harm than good.
Community-based services offer great counselling and guidance to parents about how to approach separation, and how much to revel to their children. Professionals are generally of the opinion that honesty is the best policy, however this will depend on the developmental stage of the child.
Impact on the children of a loveless marriages.
The timeless question becomes: What is better, an unhappy marriage or a happy divorce? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. The decision to leave a relationship is yours and yours alone. No doubt family and friends will offer their opinions, however you are the only one who understands the true dynamic of your family home. It may be that your issues are only minor and some marital counselling will do the trick. Or it may be that the issues are overwhelming and that as a result of your unhappy marriage you have become a distant parent. Ultimately, if you decide that it is time to end the relationship, you should contact our office.
Steps to separating amicably with children
An amicable separation is the goal of all couple looking to dissolve their marriage or defacto relationship. It is certainly the best result possible for the children. For most couples it is perfectly achievable.
Step 1: Remember, negotiating a parenting arrangement should always be focused on the child’s best interests. Don’t let the negotiation process become personal or petty.
Step 2: Give family counselling a shot. There are many community-based services available out there that provide family counselling and mediation for the purposes of helping separated parents agree on a parenting plan.
Step 3: If counselling doesn’t work, don’t jump the gun by running straight to court. Once a court case is started, there is no taking it back. The statements prepared in support of your application will need to be served on the other parent. Litigation often leads to hostility, and the children are not immune.
Step 4: Obtain legal advice. A good family law practitioner will run through all of your options with you. You may choose to attend mediation, or engagement in negotiation simply by way of correspondence. If agreement is obtained, it can be recorded in a document called Consent Orders, which become binding on the parties until the children reach 18.
Step 5: if you have tried all of the above, and you cannot reach a solution, only then should you consider making an application to the court.
Book a free confidential discussion with our lawyers.
Negotiating parenting arrangements is an intricate task, particularly in high conflict cases. Our experienced family law solicitors can help you navigate your way through important dialogues and assist you in arriving at a parenting arrangement in the best interests of the children.