Innovative solutions to family issues: Co-parenting tools

A number of websites and apps help separated parents share information about their children’s needs and plan anything from diaries to mealtimes. Many also have built-in recording of conversations and tools to help reduce conflict in the co-parenting space. As these are now sometimes court-ordered, practitioners are advised to have at least a basic knowledge of what the different options offer.

Together Apart

This one day training course by Adele Ballantyne explores the insights from relationship psychology, for family lawyers and other professionals into divorce and separation. Both in terms of how divorce and separation impacts on clients and on family professionals themselves.

Helping your children deal with their emotions

Children will react in different ways to the divorce. Some will be angry, hurt or upset, some may show no reaction at all. In families where there has been a great deal of fighting between parents, children may even feel relieved. They need to know that this is normal. Below we look at the common emotions children might experience and how you can help support them through this time.

Maintaining relationships with your children

When parents split up the questions about where the children will live and how will each parent get to spend time with them will naturally arise.

It is important to keep your children informed about what you are planning and listen to their opinions too. Relate has some useful resources to help you plan living arrangements with your children.

The rest of this section looks at how to manage more trying situations, such as if one parent has to move away or if there is difficulty in keeping in contact with your children.

Managing life between two homes

For children, being able to spend time with both of their parents is important. As difficult as it may seem at first, managing to successfully parent across two homes is achievable.

Tips for parenting apart

While your relationship with your partner has ended, your role as a parent has not. As you move on with life after your divorce, you and your ex will need to manage your relationship as separated parents.

The Parenting Charter

Conflict is damaging, especially conflict happening between the two people your children love best in the world.

Our Parenting Charter sets out what children should be able to expect from their parents if they are separating and what separating parents need to do in the interests of their children. At times of family difficulty, it is easy for adults to forget what it is like to be a child, distracted as they may be by feelings of hurt and fear for the future.

Looking after yourself

Recognising your feelings will allow you to better support your children. Understand how anger, denial and depression can affect you and how you can manage them.