How do we co-parent after separation?

24th January 2018

Even when separating couples are on good terms, when it comes to how they continue to co-parent their children, they can still encounter difficulties. As part of Mediation week, we demonstrate how mediation can be utilised to assist separated parents to work together to successfully co-parent their children.

A scenario that may be familiar to many separated parents is one where you’ve set down the boundaries for your children, but then they’ve spent time with their other parent who does not share your view of where the boundaries should lie and now you look like “bad cop”. When you and your ex were together, this type of scenario may have been easily resolved with a simple conversation but now you have separated and are perhaps no longer talking, or only corresponding via text message or email, how are you going to resolve this?

To successfully co-parent your children, communication is key and if you and your ex are having trouble communicating, attending a mediation session could provide you with just the environment you need to put your differences aside and focus on what is best for the children. Family mediation allows parents to air their views but then work together with an independent, professionally trained mediator to help them move forward.

Take for example, the use of social media. This is not something that we ever had to deal with as children but now it’s a huge part of our children’s lives. In fact, the Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, recently warned that many school children aged 8-12 are becoming increasingly anxious about their online and offline identity, craving likes and comments from peers on social media sites to gain validation.  Parents therefore need to be able to agree on how they are going to deal with these sorts of issues with their children. For example they will need to agree on which forms of social media they are happy for their children to access, what privacy levels should be set, what are they happy for them to share as well as how long they think it is appropriate for their children to spend on social media per day.

If you and your ex are unable to reach agreement on decisions such as these, attending mediation can provide you with a neutral base from which to start having these necessary and important conversations. The mediator will sit with you both and provide an environment within which you can both express your views and concerns and hopefully reach an agreement as to the way forward.

Could a mediation session assist you and your ex to co-parent your children? If you are interested in knowing more about family mediation please contact either Christine Plews or Flora Grossman in our Family Team who would be very happy to assist you.

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