When you are faced with separation and divorce, one of your biggest concerns will likely be how it is going to negatively impact your children. You will be faced with making decisions concerning the care of your children including but not limited to, where they will live, the time they spend with each parent, schooling, overseas travel, religious upbringing, medical decisions, communication and protecting them from harm. While some parents are able to put aside any ill-feelings they have for each other to make decisions together, and provide their children with an environment free from conflict post separation, it is not uncommon for parents to struggle with this, especially in the early stages of separation.
If you are engaging a lawyer to assist you negotiate with your former partner to bed down an appropriate parenting arrangement for your children, you will often hear the words “best interests of the child”. You will be asked for your view as to what arrangements are going to be “best”. It may be the case that what you think is best for your children is entirely different to what their other parent thinks. This is where conflict can ensue.
When negotiating parenting arrangements, we adopt a strong child-focused mindset and encourage our clients to make informed decisions taking into consideration the wide spectrum of intricacies that need to be addressed in establishing new parenting arrangements.
Unfortunately, it is sometimes the case that one or both parents are unable or unwilling to reach an agreement in respect of ongoing parenting arrangements. If that is the case, Court proceedings may be commenced. We have extensive experience in working with clients where risk issues (such as domestic violence, substance abuse, alienation and mental health concerns) dictate that Court intervention is unavoidable.