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Separation is incredibly hard, and often traumatic for parents and children. Here’s the advice & resources on how to protect your child during separation.

A consideration the Court will take into account when making a determination on who a child should live with and/or spend time with, is if a parent has exposed the child to the Court proceedings. Recently, I have had several matters where a Judge has made Orders against a party because they exposed the child to ‘adult matters’. It is important for parents, therefore, to consider what they do and don’t let their children know about Court proceedings.

The paramount principal of the Family Law Act is for the Court to take into consideration the child’s best interests. This includes any benefit they may have in spending time with a parent, but also considers any risk a parent may present to the child. The Court’s previous determinations evidence that the Court does not consider a parent discussing ongoing Court proceedings with a child to be in their best interest. In some cases, they have determined that this presents as a risk to a child as it causes psychological harm.

Family separation / divorce

Separation is incredibly hard, and often traumatic for parents and children. For children, they will be confused as to why Mum and Dad are no longer living together and will often ask questions which are difficult to answer. What we recommend implementing in these circumstances is doing everything in your power to protect your child from the adult decision you and the other parent may have to make.

If you are struggling with balancing how to protect your child from ongoing disputes and being honest with them, we recommend you seek advice from services experienced in this field. No doubt this may be the first time you and your family are going through this and you will need extra support to get through.

Some services in the community which may be of assistance include:

1. The Mackay Women’s Centre

The center provides counselling for women and a ‘Family Life Program’ for parents which supports family relationships.

2. Uniting Care

Offers the course ‘Parenting Order Program – Post Separation’ which aims to inform and assist separated families with co-parenting once Orders have been made.

3. Headspace Mackay

Headspace is great resource in Mackay which provides access for children to receive counselling and speak in a confidential environment regarding any struggles they are facing during separation.

If you have any questions regarding what you can or cannot discuss with your children in relation to Court proceedings, we recommend you seek legal advice.

If you have any questions regarding how to best support your children during separation, please give Grace a call on (07) 4963 0800.

Or to read more from Statewide Family Law click here