A Guide for Separating Parents: How Best to Cope

Even if the decision to separate has been made on a purely civil and respectful way, it doesn’t make it any easier, regardless of whether there are bad feelings there or not. It can still have an enormous effect on your life and most certainly the lives of your children. Additionally, if there are negative feelings there and a lack of civil communication, separation becomes a million times more difficult.


There are essential steps you need to take during and after your separation to ensure a smooth process for you and your family.

Make the Right Decision on Custody

Even if both parents wish to have full custody rights to their children (which is an entirely natural and understandable wish), it’s important to remember that custody rights have to take into account what is best for the child or children. One parent may have a more stable and financially secure situation following the separation compared to the other parent, for example. A practical head needs to take precedence over emotions when it comes to the right custody arrangement for your child.

A family law and criminal lawyer Charleston SC can help with any custody decisions and separation requirements.

Never Put Your Children in the Middle

This can be very hard when faced with an angry or resentful separation compared to a civil one. It’s easy to want to show your bitterness towards an ex-partner when going through a challenging separation, but it’s crucial to prevent this from manifesting in front of any children involved. Children shouldn’t be exposed to any bad-mouthing or negative talk about their other parent, and should not be used as a messenger to go between both parents if they are refusing to talk with one another. Despite your failings when it comes to the relationship, a child still needs two dependable parents who they can show equal affection towards.

Consider Your New Relationship as a Business One

If there really is no potential for friendship with your ex-partner following the separation, a good way to deal with the situation when children are involved is to think of your co-parent as a colleague. You don’t have to be friends with them, but you should be respectful and civil at all times. You should communicate effectively with them where applicable – as you would within a working environment – and make suitable requests and arrangements when it comes to your children. You should lose all personal familiarity, such as turning up at their house unannounced to see the children, as you wouldn’t turn up at a business colleague’s house unexpectedly.

This viewpoint can be good for letting negative emotions get the better of you, and keep it cordial.

Respect Your Child’s Time with Their Other Parent It will take time for a child to adjust to seeing their parents separately at different houses. You shouldn’t be nosy or intrusive when your child returns home from spending time with their other parent, nor should you sabotage any quality time they spend together. Children will be able to cope better if they feel happy and safe with both parents and are allowed the freedom to spend time with both.