Men and Separation

What Family Law says about 'shared care'

The meaning of shared care in family law relates to the amount of time the child spends with each parent, in this instance it means equal time spent between parents. 




The law expects that you will make decisions about your child that are in the child's best interest. If the child spending equal time with each of you is practicable, and in the best interest of the child, then you could consider an arrangement of this kind. Family Law asks that you consider such things as the age of the child, the relationship you have had with your child up until now, your living arrangements, and if the child is old enough then you will need to consider their opinion on the matter before deciding whether shared care is appropriate. 

Consider work commitments

Although you will have to consider what impact your work commitments have on any arrangements with your child, separation does not mean the end of your relationship with your child. While your relationship will inevitably change, the challenge is to remain connected and involved with your child in a meaningful way.


Think creatively

Now that you are parenting independently, you will need to establish new rituals and routines. Generally contact with both parents is important for stable and happy children.


Separation and divorce can be the toughest experiences you will ever have

The good new is that you will survive and go on to live a fulfilling and happy life. If you were the non-initiator of your divorce then you will most likely have the most distress. I suggest you visit some parenting websites such as The Raising Children Network. There you will find topics on how to separate partnership issues from parenting issues.


The role of the Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner

The Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner is there to help you and your former partner come to a parenting arrangement that will be unique to your circumstances. The FDR sessions allows parents to work out arrangements/parenting plan, that will be unique to your circumstances. These sessions allows parents to work out arrangements for your children without going to court. The good thing about a parenting plan is that it can be as flexible (or not) a document as you want it to be. The Practitioner may suggest that as yours and your child's situation may change over time, that a new parenting plan may need to be drawn up in the future to reflect these changes. To allow this to occur, it is simply a matter of including a review date (often in 12 months time) into the developing parenting plan.


Helping your child cope with your separation

The way children react to the separation depends on many factors, one of which is how both parents manage the situation. A major factor in children's adjustment is the level of conflict that exists between the parents. Read articles on how you can help your child accept separation. The good news is that once the situation has stabilized, most children manage well.


*** If you or your child are not coping with the separation, then seeking professional help is advised ****