Working in the best interests of children
Even though you’re separating or separated, you’ll always be a parent to your child and it’s important they maintain a good relationship with both of you as long as it is safe and in the best interests of the child.
There are no hard and fast rules, but the following guidelines may help you to create a working relationship that is in the best interests of the child.
- The quality of the time a parent spends with a child, and the level of stability in a child’s life are important factors.
- Teens often need a more flexible arrangement to allow for their social life. A teen will want to keep life as normal as possible outside of the separation.
- Encourage your child to communicate with both parents, regardless of how much time they spend with your ex-partner. While you may not want to have a relationship with your child’s parent, it’s natural for your child to want to have a relationship with them if possible.
- Don’t forget to ask your children what they want – they will have their own ideas about how they want to spend their time and when. By involving your children in the process, you are more likley to come to a conclusion that works best for everyone.
- When trying to create a plan that works best for children, it can sometimes be difficult to stay on track and keep your emotions in check. A Parenting Plan may be helpful in getting you focused on the children.
Where can I go next?
The Parent Connection - what children think about contact
Information from the Parent Connection about what research tells us children think about contact.
Mumsnet - 10 ways to protect your child
Ten top tips to protect your child from the effects of separation from Mumsnet.
DAD.info - what makes the difference?
Information from Dad.Info about how to help your children "survive and thrive" when you separate.