Cooperative co-parenting is one term used for child focused parenting after separation. It demonstrates to the child that their parents love them equally, even though the relationship dynamic and living situation has now changed. It almost seems impossible to believe that you can fall out of love with a person and still maintain an amicable relationship with them. With a child-centered focus in parenting after your separation, the most effective method is to focus on the love for the child. And with some effort on both sides, you will find that you can maintain an amicable relationship between you and your former partner. This course is for parents who are genuinely dedicated to navigating positive co-parenting outcomes. It is designed as a self guiding method to encourage positive outcomes for you and your children and may be used as a foundation to enter into your mediation agreements should you require them. Avoid the costly legal process. You are the experts in parenting your children and with support, you can work this out.
Parenting After Separation Course
Dealing With Legal Issues
Australian Family Law
Every year thousands of parents in Australia decide not to live together. These are very emotional and difficult times for all concerned. There are significant decisions to be made that will affect your family and sometimes you may not initially agree on those.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
Using Lawyers will incur significant financial fees which, depending on the nature of your disputes, may eat up considerable family wealth. In Australia, this can run into tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Role of Mediation
Mediation is an intermediary step which, when both parties are prepared to negotiate, can minimise disputes and navigate a win-win for both parties. In family matters it must always be kept top of mind that the silent third party is your children. Like Lawyers, Mediators can help you come to important and difficult agreements, only they do so outside of the court and with much less expense.
Child Support Agreements
In Australia the Child Support Scheme was introduced in 1988 to ensure that children receive an appropriate amount of financial support from their separated parents. The scheme is managed by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and assists parents to apply for assessment and facilitates the collection and payment of child support. Assessments are calculated on the following formula.
Parents In Focus
Conflicted To Cooperative
When you make the choice to separate, your children’s lives will be forever changed. It is of prime importance in your coparenting journey that you minimise the impact on your children as much as possible.
At the same time, you must juggle your own emotions and behaviours and the fluctuating nature of one of the most difficult periods in your life.
There two types of co-parenting.
The Cycle of Grief
Usually separation is the result of many repeated attempts to stay together. Very few people come into this decision lightly and in many cases the processing of emotions for separation has begun before the relationship has informally or formally come to a close.
After relationship breakdown sensitivity of each parent (and children) can become heightened. Small matters which were once overlooked all of a sudden become bigger and more exaggerated.
Communication in parenting after separation is vital. Not only does it help you as a parents, but it helps your children learn positive behaviour patterns they will adopt for life. If you can get communication right, you are well on your way to cooperative coparenting.
Children In Focus
Children and Resilience
Most children are resilient when it comes to parental separation and will eventually come through this period to lead a successful and happy life. However, children are reported to experience more adverse outcomes when a high level of parental conflict is present.
Communicating With Children
Any hostilities carried out in front of the children, such as arguing, yelling, screaming, financial disputes, parenting disputes all take a toll on children’s mental wellbeing. The separation has been traumatic for them, however what comes after can be equally or more traumatic when your relationship with your co parent is hostile.
What Children Say
People often say things which have a deeper or hidden meaning. Because they have less vocabulary and tools it’s also true for children who may not have the words to express everything they feel. If they seem out of character, it’s very important that you investigate with your children what is prompting their statements.
Celebrations and Holidays
Celebrations and special days are precious to children. Enjoying them is a right of passage that all children should be able to enjoy without the need for missing one parent. In this module we explore some of the ways you can improve the happiness on these days by considering your child and your co-parent.
The decisions you make now in separation have long lasting effects. While most of us think we could ‘suck it up’ Jenny’s story as an adult of separated parents is not uncommon. And so, we must learn a new paradigm, or risk causing long lasting damage to a key parenting value of raising happy children.
Equal Shared Parenting
Equal time is the best option, however it’s not always possible due to work and / or distance. I will present to you 3 models that are available for consideration in which a meaningful relationship can be maintained while co-parenting.
While you may have a preconceived idea of what that looks like, take the time to read each model as there are most likely options, both positive and negative, you have not yet considered.
Shared parenting is when you have one primary residential parent and one non residential parent with whom the children spend days or overnight visits with. You are ‘sharing the care’ although not on equal time.
Flexibile Shared Parenting
Flexible parenting is the one model many parents struggle with the most and yet conversely, it often works for children the best. Yes, it’s about empowering your children to choose and accepting their decision.
Flexible parenting requires the most amount of communication between the parents and so for that reason it’s not for everyone.
This module is for your path as an individual to help you grow and move on from relationship breakdown, while keeping the integrity of your values and commitment to family in tact.
Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviours
As you’ve now explored, ending your marital or defacto relationship is not the end of your parenting relationship. Your children love and need both of you to help guide them on their journey through life. This module is dedicated to giving you the best possible parenting after separation relationship that you can have, in order to co-parent effectively.
Processing Fears and Insecurities
Often when we are faced with a fear when it’s put under a microscope it is not what we thought originally. It might be ugly, uncomfortable or cause us some other pain but it’s not really life threatening.
Judgement and Worthiness
During your relationship breakdown and the months or years which lead to its finality it is not uncommon for partners to have said things to each other which damage self esteem. Much of what you have experienced is founded in judgment and the fears which that evokes in almost all of us.
The Importance of Empathy
The point of this exercise is to keep at top of mind that you have both made sacrifices in order to co-parent your children and remain active, loving participants in their lives. You will both face challenges and struggles and you are both now going through something which was unpredictable at the time when you first decided to have children together.