Things I'm Often Asked.....
“I want to be honest with my children, but I don’t want to tell them things that will upset them or that are not useful for them to know. How much is too much?”
I can give you age-appropriate options. We can use role-training techniques to establish the best responses for your children.
“I feel like I’m talking about this all the time. My friends and family are great, but I feel like I’m being a burden.”
Separation can become the focus of our lives, there is no relief, it is all-consuming. Some of us are lucky enough to have good personal support. However, there is great value in having a specific time and place to manage this process, with someone objective and neutral to help focus on what is important, and what needs to be dealt with. As an experienced third party, I can offer a venting ground and emotional support, but also objectivity and guidance, and provide useful tools.
“Aren’t we both supposed to get a lawyer when we separate?”
Significant changes to the Family Court processes in the past five years mean that in most situations, people no longer require a lawyer. Parents need to do Parenting Through Separation and try Family Dispute Resolution (mediation) before they can ask the Family Court to settle their dispute. These steps do not involve a lawyer. These changes have been brought about by the Ministry of Justice’s desire to support parents to negotiate and agree on their own care arrangements for their children, without the stress, uncertainty and financial burden of going to court.
I can explain these processes, answer your questions, and help you prepare for mediation or refer you to the most-appropriate place.
Sorting out your own parenting arrangements is better for you and your children - children cope more easily with separation when they know the people who care about them are working together.
Sometimes Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) may not be be the right course of action, for example, where there are safety concerns (although even then, FDR still may be a workable option). In these cases, I am experienced in writing affidavits to present in court or for your lawyer to review.
“I feel totally overwhelmed and don’t know where to even start.”
Separating is certainly overwhelming. Working together to establish a clear plan will help you gain clarity and feel more in control.
“How much detail do I need in my child’s parenting plan? I don’t want to be rigid but I also want it to be clear.”
I have a lot of experience helping establish parenting arrangements for children of all ages. One size does not fit all! I can guide you through to establish the most effective plan for your child’s specific needs.
“I try and have a rational discussion about my child with my ex-partner/co-parent but we always end up in a full-blown fight about something completely different which ends with the phone being hung up!”
Working with specific techniques, we can find a way to communicate with your co-parent, without fighting or falling into old, unhelpful patterns of behaviours
“My child is upset because their other parent is saying mean things about me. I feel so angry, and also helpless. I don’t know what to say to my child.”
We can talk through these emotions and how they can be managed. Again, role-training can be used to help you build a tool-kit of the most helpful things to say to your child.
“I’ve been separated for five years, and our child arrangements have worked pretty well so far. Now my child is telling me that he wants to spend more time with his Dad. I think it’s only because there are fewer rules there so he’ll be able to do whatever he wants and I’m worried. What should I do?”
Co-parenting from different households is an on-going challenge! I can help develop strategies to put in place to make this easier for you and your children.
“Co-parenting with my ex has become more difficult as she now has a new partner who seems to be muscling in on decisions that affect our child.”
This can be tricky and bring up lots of emotions. We can explore these, and come up with solutions on how to manage this with your ex, and discuss with your child.