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Introduction to Being Parents not Partners

Tags: being parents not partners, children, separation, relationship advice, relationship support, parenting, divorce, co-parenting, communication, couple conflicts, relationship quality, arguments, money, baby, family, friends, ways to make it work
Content Types: What to expect
Categories: Separating

Putting your relationship with your ex on a new footing can be painfully difficult; understandably you may feel like erasing them from your life. For the sake of your children you need to remember that, above all, you are both still parents, even if you are no longer together. This section of The Parent Connection offers encouragement and advice for separating parents to take practical steps to try to ensure the effect of your break up on your child is kept to a minimum.

Parenting after parting - Ways to make it work

The end of a relationship is difficult and emotional for most people and can trigger many feelings; sadness, depression, anxiety, anger, happiness or relief, guilt and shame. At times like this, being a parent can make things seem even harder. Your feelings can change rapidly, even during the course of a day, but it is important not to let these feelings spill over into your relationship with your child. Trying hard to control what you say and do can make it easier for your child to cope with how they are feeling.

Agreeing on living arrangements and contact with the child is a challenge for both parents. Accept that your feelings about your ex may affect your attitude and willingness to co-operate. Around 10% of separating families go to the courts to sort out disputes about   contact with the children. But research shows that parents tend to be happier with arrangements they've made themselves rather than those decided by the courts. So, if you possibly can, try to work through the difficulties and settle your differences together.

The tips and advice section of this site has ideas and resources that might help you build a new relationship as parents, even though you're no longer partners. We also offer guidance on getting it right for children when parents part.

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  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    That sounds really tough. I wonder if he did move out in Feb...and how you are now managing. Have you tried mediation? I found this site very helpful in pointing me toward a mediator rather than court. I needed some help because each time I tried to have a reasonable conversation about care for our 2 kids my ex ended up storming out of the house only to return a day later as if nothing had happened. In the end the mediator helped set some ground rules about the timing of his move. have a look at the following link as a starter.

    Fri 22, Mar 2013 at 6:24pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    It's a nightmare living together when you know its all over. How do people manage this ?!!!

    Thu 14, Mar 2013 at 9:06pm
  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    its 3wks plus now for me, and ex partner has not moved out completely, comes back every fri and stays till sun evenings, time to spend with kids. so every weekend, i have to have self control so that it does not become a war zone. he plans to move out in Feb 2013, but this arrangement not working for me, i rather he takes them to wherever he is living at the moment for the weekends but he wont say where or that he comes every other week not every week. Living arrangement at the moment is laborious.

    Sat 15, Dec 2012 at 10:39pm