When you are in a broken relationship your ability to be the best parent you can be is hampered – so separation can be a positive opportunity to have a better relationship with your children. Try not to see your child as a commodity to be bargained over – children don’t see their childhood like this – neither should you. Concentrate on quality not quantity.

Be flexible and child centred – what works for a 4 year old will not work for a 14 year old.

Think about the following:

  • How are you going to communicate with your ex about the children?
  • Can you respect differences in parenting?
  • How are you going to resolve future conflicts?
  • Are your fundamental child rearing values the same?
  • Can you value what the other parent has to offer?
  • Are you willing to tolerate personal inconvenience to help make shared parenting work for your child/children?
  • Is your child able to cope with transitions?
  • What are the big events your child faces in their life and how are you and the other parent going to help them through?
  • What are the areas of shared parenting that make you most anxious, where do you think you will do well and what help can you offer to the other parent?