Top 10 tips for separating parents

Divorce and separation can be especially distressing when children are involved. To help minimise the difficulties, we’ve compiled our top 10 tips for separating parents.


1. Do not involve your children in any conflict

Just because your relationship has broken down, you still need to ensure the impact on your children is as minimal as possible. Try never to involve your children in any conflict and do not ask them to be emotional referees for your relationship troubles.


2. Ensure the children spend quality time with both parents

Every child has the right to spend time with both parents. Unless there are genuine safeguarding issues, it’s important for children to spend quality time with both of you.


3. Never coerce or ask a child to take sides

If your divorce ends up in court, never ask your children to take sides to strengthen your court case notes.


4. Try to ensure your children do not overhear any arguments

Witnessing or overhearing their parents arguing is extremely painful for children and it’s important to try to protect them from this where possible.


5. Do not feel guilty about moving on with your lives

It is perfectly normal for you both to move on with your lives, including meeting new partners. Children want their parents to be happy, but they also need positive relationships with both natural parents. Do ensure they have contact with both of you even if this is through a contact centre with legal obligations or orders in place.


6. Try to keep as much normality and routine for your children as possible

You can help your children continue to feel safe and secure, despite their parents separating, by keeping as much normality and routine in their lives as possible. If dramatic change is unavoidable, be as kind and considerate of their feelings as you can.


7. Introduce new partners with care and consideration

Some new partners resent children who are the product of a previous significant relationship. Do be aware of this and try to build healthy relationships between your children and a new partner. Do still ensure you spend time alone with your children so they don’t feel second-best.


8. Do not compensate by spoiling your children

Try not to spoil your children to compensate for their pain or to buy their loyalty. It is unfair to the children and their other parent.


9. Ensure your children spend time with wider family members, particularly grandparents

The comfort of maintaining wider family relationships cannot be overestimated, so try to maintain your children’s contact with grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins.


10. Be mindful of your children’s emotions, thoughts and feelings

Many children struggle to process family breakdown, particularly if they are asked to process inappropriate adult emotion. Try to protect them at all costs – this is not their fight. Be continually mindful of their thoughts and emotions and give them the time and space to express these, so they feel listened to.


If you would like any advice on separation or divorce, we offer an initial no obligation consultation for £50 (incl. VAT) for up to one hour, where you can chat to a family lawyer about the impact it will have on your specific circumstances. To book, please call us on 01444 472700, email us on or complete the form below.

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