Child handover for parents and children can be complicated, difficult and a source of anxiety for all involved. When parents are co-parenting after separation, it is important for children, that handover is simple and cordial, and provides children with the least likely feeling of being tugged between parents.
There is nothing worse for a child to feel caught in the middle of conflicting parents. Or alternatively, recognising their parents cannot even say hello to one another when they move from one house to the next.
Barrister from Victoria, Darren Mort, has produced some compelling resources for parents who are struggling with handover and co-parenting with their former spouse.
The book, Tommy & Terry Tiger, is a story which is read to children to help them feel they are not alone with separated parents. The book is designed to assist children to make sense of the separation of their parents. You can purchase the book using this link.
In addition to the story, a short film was released regarding Tommy. It is a tragic story to watch a small boy being passed between two homes, trying to make sense of the conflicting parenting styles and, importantly, the devastating conflict between his two parents.
One thing both resources do is encourage parents to “do better”, put the child first and give children space to understand the change occurring in their lives.
There is no handbook on how to successfully achieve the best handover for children, however, when interviewing children or hearing from other parents, there are simple steps which can be taken for children not to feel like a parcel being exchanged between their parents.
The above tips are just a general guide to assist you. Not all of them will work for everyone, and each person’s circumstances are individual.
There is no perfect way to handover children or to share time with children after separation. It is a reminder for children they live in two separate homes. However, it is an obligation on parents to make the most of the situation and focus on the child.
Regularly we are told, whether in Court or at conferences, it is not separation which affects children, it is conflict. Keep this in mind when you are communicating about the other parent or to the other parent, with children present or within hearing distance.
Separation is difficult. When children are involved, it can be incredibly traumatic, and parents can be emotionally charged. This affects their ability to offer solutions which are child-focused and conflict-avoidant.
During this vulnerable stage, it is often the most important time to reach out to a lawyer for knowledge to assist you in making informed decisions.
The involvement of a lawyer does not need to be hostile or cause more animosity. It can be a crucial step in offering solutions which may not have been considered.
Even just a first appointment with an experienced family lawyer can provide you with some guidance to assist both yourself and ultimately, your children.
Family Lawyers Perth & Sydney
The information contained in this article is of general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. If you require further information, advice or assistance for your specific circumstances, please contact Meillon & Bright Family Lawyers.