The best thing that parents can do to assist their child(ren) with post-separation stresses is not involve the child(ren) in the adult decisions and for the parents to work cooperatively and constructively to work out a workable parenting regime.
The paramount factor in determining a parenting schedule is the best interests of the child(ren). Factors include:
- protection of the child’s physical, psychological and emotional needs;
- need for stability;
- importance of contract with both parents;
- consider child’s age and development;
- language, religion and culture;
- any family violence;
- nature and strength of the child’s relationships with each parent;
- the ability and willingness of each parent to provide care for the child; or
- the wishes of the child if age appropriate to consider.
The child or children spend at least 40 percent of the time with one parent and the rest with the other parent
For example – there are two children of the marriage – one lives with the mother and the other lives with the father.
PARENTING DISPUTE RESOLUTION
If the parents are unable to agree on a comprehensive parenting plan, legal counsel will normally refer them to a Parenting Coordinator, likely a psychologist:, to work out a parenting plan. The Parenting Coordinator will also likely continue supporting he parents and the children for the implementation or variation of the parenting plan.
In more serious cases the Court can order what is known as a Practice Note 7 intervention where the psychologist will interview the parents and the child(ren) to determine the best method of resolving a parenting dispute, while providing information, resources, and counselling services.
In extreme cases, the Court can order what is known as a Practice Note 8 bi-lateral assessment, which is a thorough investigation in the family history, psychological testing of the parents and the child(ren) if appropriate, resulting in recommendations to the Court for the best parenting arrangement for the child(ren). This recommendation is non-binding on the Court, but is usually given serious consideration.
For parents with extreme communication difficulties, this program serves as a platform for the parents to communicate all relevant child(ren) information, scheduling through a cloud based portal. This also allows parenting experts or the Courts to monitor both the tone and content of the parents communications.