Divorce and separation are painful for everyone involved – particularly children. At this challenging time children need support, love and contact with both parents, as well as certainty about the future.
Share the Care: Collaborative Parenting Apart is a step-by-step guide to help you develop your own parenting plan.
Your parenting plan will allow you to:
- Put the best interests of your children first
- Make a shared commitment to your children with their future firmly in mind
- Clarify the arrangements you need to put in place to care for your children.
What is a parenting plan?
A parenting plan is a written agreement between parents covering the practical issues of parenting, including:
- Parenting style
- Living arrangements
- Health care
- Emotional wellbeing
Share the Care: Collaborative Parenting Apart contains a number of questions for you to help you think about each of these areas and examples to assist you in working out your own approach.
More than 20 practical tips for collaborative parenting
Share the Care: Collaborative Parenting Apart is filled with more than 20 practical tips to help you through this difficult time, such as:
- Focus on the children, not on your past relationship
- Children can cope with different rules as long as they are clear about what they are
- Children can be very worried about new partners in their parents’ lives. Be sensitive to their fears and anxieties
- Don’t discuss the children’s affairs at changeover time – particularly if you don’t communicate well.
Share the Care: Collaborative Parenting Apart includes handy, practical tools that will streamline the process of building your own collaborative parenting plan, including:
- Step-by-step templates to develop your own parenting agreement and emergency contact sheets
- Examples of arrangements that have worked for other parents, which can be adjusted for your situation
- Workbook pages to record your joint decisions about communication, living arrangements, finances, education and more
- Helpful checklists and a year planner for key dates
- Useful contacts to find further support.
What if I need further help?
The road to collaborative parenting is not always easy. If you feel you need extra support, Share the Care: Collaborative Parenting Apart provides more information about next steps, including counselling and family dispute resolution.
The guide will provide you with the right links to critical support and services, provided by Relationships Australia NSW as well as our trusted partners.