The most recent report by the Queensland government, released in November 2016, found that in 2015 alone 10,942 divorces were granted in Queensland. This was 243 more registered divorces than the year before.
This echoes the findings the AMP NATSEM Modern Family report. The ten-year study found that Queensland has the highest divorce rate in Australia, with 25 in every 1,000 marriages resulting in divorce on average.
Divorce is a devastating process for all parties involved. From legal disputes to property settlements, there is a lot of tense discussion that follows a divorce. However, the separation process gets a lot trickier when there are kids involved.
The separation process gets a lot trickier when there are kids involved.
Exploring co-parenting as an option
For Queensland parents that choose to go through a divorce, there are a lot of things to consider. Who will get primary custody? What kind of arrangement is best for the children? How will you manage to amicably deal with your ex-spouse for the sake of your kids?
One of the best options for divorcees is co-parenting. It is an arrangement that allows both of you to be equally involved in your child's upbringing through a parenting partnership. Having a cooperative and productive relationship with your ex-spouse has huge benefits for your children.
According to Harvard Health Publication HelpGuide.org, kids of divorcees with a co-parenting relationship feel more secure, have a healthier example of relationships and adjust quicker than children with hostile divorced parents.
Understandably, some divorces are more turbulent than others. In particularly hostile situations co-parenting isn't always a viable option. However, for those divorcees that can manage to maintain a friendly parental relationship with their former partners, we have some tips for to make your parenting partnership more effective.
Take your feelings out of the equation
It's natural for you to still have leftover feelings towards your ex-partner – whether they are feeling of resentment or hurt or frustration. However, it is critical to separate these emotions from your behaviour.
Remember: your main priority is the well-being of your kids. Lashing out at your partner or bad-mouthing them in front of your children is helpful to nobody. Practice mindful calming activities when you feel yourself getting worked up and make sure you have someone you can vent to when you need to.
Aim for consistency where it matters
It's near impossible to achieve consistency at every level of parenting, even when you're not divorced. However, in co-parenting it's important to keep some baseline of regularity in important areas.
Rules should be generally similar across the two households. Discipline should also translate between houses – if your child is banned from video games at your former partner's house this should remain true in your home. Lastly, schedule consistency is important, especially with younger children. Keep bedtimes, dinner time and homework time as similar as possible between homes.
Rules should be generally similar across the two households. Discipline should also translate between houses.
Approach your relationship like a business partnership
You want to treat your co-parent the way you would treat a respected business partner. Be cordial, neutral and stick to your points. Make sure your communication is strong, both in terms of you stating what you need for them and you listening to what they need from you. Set up regular appointments to talk and discuss your children – so you can make joint decisions and present a united plan to your kids.
In the event that co-parenting is not an option and your child custody agreements become unmanageable, you need to get in touch with a family law specialist. Here at WGC our team of family lawyers are well-versed in these delicate matters and can help sort your situation out – reach out today!