Life can be very complicated and nobody knows what is ahead. Sometimes the best-laid plans can fail and caused a major redirect. It is particularly unfortunate when this type of situation arises between two partners, especially when children are involved. This can be a really trying time, especially as the interests of the children have to come first. It can also be difficult to focus, however, so what do you really need to be careful of as you navigate these treacherous waters?
The Big Picture
To be blunt, you both have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that parenting issues are carefully handled. This doesn't mean that you always have to battle this out in front of the court, but you need to be aware of any repercussions. This is why it's important to get legal counsel on your side at an early opportunity.
Getting Ready for Detailed Analysis
There are a number of different laws relating to parenting across Australia and there can be some subtle nuances. For example, some differences do exist based on whether you were married or not before the split. However, you're obliged to come to a practical solution which is in the better interests of the children and you need to do this by yourselves, or according to a court mandate.
Understanding What's Involved
Typically, it's better for both individuals to have a shared responsibility going forward and much will depend on the type of relationship that it's possible to maintain after the separation. You have to communicate properly and come to some conclusions about key areas ahead. Typically, you'll need to focus on education, living arrangements, interaction, religion and other matters.
How much time will each child spend with the respective adult? It's not always easy to share this equitably, especially if one of the parents has a job that takes them away from home a lot. Try and achieve some substantial and significant time for the children with each adult, if possible.
This will require detailed work. You have to have a look at school holidays, weekends, significant dates such as Christmas and so on. Be practical when it comes to travelling and always think about the psychological and emotional effect on the children that significant travel can involve. It is possible to maintain relationships by using modern-day communication methods such as Skype, so bear that in mind.
These details can be difficult to figure out by yourselves and sometimes it's good to have objective advice from experts. Don't forget to discuss all of these issues with your family lawyer, as part of the process.
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