Separation is a very difficult thing to go through, and is made
even harder when there are children involved.
It is important to remember that regardless of the circumstances
in which separation has occurred, your kids love both you and your
former partner. There are things that you should and shouldn't
do during the time of transition.
While this isn't based on what the law says, we see so many
families going through separation. Everyone is human, and we all
make mistakes, but there are practical ways that you can approach
this situation to support your kids as much as possible.
Things you should do:
Speak to a counsellor and to your former
This can help you approach this difficult topic in a better way
with your children, and provide them with the best support. If it
is safe, talk to your former partner and try and be on the same
Let your children know that both you and your former
partner love them very much.
After a separation, it can be hard to say anything good about
your former partner. You must make it a point to your children that
both you and your ex love them.
Let your children know that they are allowed to have
Lots of kids feel the pressure to pick a 'side' during a
separation. Make sure that they are allowed to keep loving both of
you the way that they always have.
Speak positively about your former partner around your
If you say nice things about the other parent, and if you are
able to remain positive about them, your children will feel
comfortable sharing all parts of their life with you.
Make sure that you are getting enough
Speak to a counsellor or therapist and make sure that you are
coping. You can't look after your kids unless you are looking
Things you shouldn't do:
Tell your kids the things you don't like about the
This is unfair to your kids and can really hurt your kids
feelings more than anything.
Tell your kids that you don't want to hear about
the other parent.
This can make your children feel like they're not allowed to
talk about the time that they spend with the other parent.
Stop your children from contacting the other
Unless there are safety concerns for you or your kids, let them
communicate when they feel like it.
Make them feel bad for wanting to see their other
Don't try to put pressure on your children into spending
time with you instead. Accept that they will want to spend time
with the other parent too.
Use your kids against each other.
Your kids are little people, not pawns in a game. Don't use
the kids to hurt one another – at the end of the day the kids
will get hurt more than anyone else.
By remembering that your children love both parents very much,
and keeping them as your focus through the separation process, you
can make decisions that are good for them, as well as good for you,
helping you move on to the next exciting stage of your life.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Sect.117 can deal with false statements and knowingly making false allegations of violence could justify a costs order.
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