Being a parent may be the hardest job you’ll ever do so being a parent while going through a separation is usually even tougher.
When deciding what parenting arrangements for the children would be best, we recommend you consider the following:
- If you spend all your time focusing on how many “nights” with the children each parent has, you may lose focus on what’s in the children’s best interests. Instead of focusing on the nights, start backwards as to what you could make work on your current commitments, especially work. If you are working until 9pm, is what you are suggesting, a workable option?
- Allow the children blocks of time with each of you so that they are not having to uproot and move routines too often;
- What extra-curricular activities will the children participate in and how will they get there? Ensuring the children consistently attend their extracurricular activities can be a way of providing stability to the children’s live during an otherwise disruptive period.
- Consider completing changeover at the children’s daycare/schools or activities so that you don’t have to come into direct contact with your former partner. This also benefits the children as it presents the least amount of at worst, conflict, and at best an awkward interaction.
- Utilise apps that specialise in co-parenting including ‘2Houses’ or ‘Our Family Wizard’. These apps come at a small cost (between $100 – $200 yearly) but have been specifically designed by experts having seen the complexities that come from children living between two households. Both parents utilise the app to share and store information for the children including calendars/scheduling, photos and important information relating to the children’s school or medical records and tracking expenses for the children. Perhaps the best part – all communication between the parents in one place which is unable to be deleted or moved.
If you need any further information please do not hesitate to contact Stephanie Murray at Richardson Murray for family law advice.