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Parenting tips after family break-up, separation or divorce

Your relationship with your partner has ended, but you are still parents of the same children. Everyone’s situation is different, but you need to work out how you will continue parenting your children in a positive and cooperative way.

Remember, one of the most valuable ways to help your children adjust to their new circumstances is successful co-parenting.

Here are some parenting tips for separated or divorced parents:

  • Develop a parenting plan - This lets both of you know what is expected of each other in terms of parenting rights and responsibilities. The plan should include living arrangements, custody or visitation schedules, finances, education, medical and emotional care.
  • Manage family conflicts - Ongoing conflicts can really hurt children. If communicating with your former partner is difficult, counselling can help. Contact the Family Relationship Advice Line on 1800 050 321.
  • Accept you may have different parenting styles - As long as your children are safe and secure, the children will learn that different rules apply in different situations.
  • Give your former partner time to adjust - If you previously did most of the parenting then your former partner will need some time to learn the ropes as a single parent. If you haven’t done much of the parenting, give your partner time to adjust to your new skills and level of responsibility.

For more information

For parenting plans see the Relationships Australia booklet Share the care: Parenting Plan - collaborative parenting apart.

Last reviewed: December 2016

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