Parenting after Separation: A Handbook for Parents

This handbook focuses on the needs of children when parents separate and how parents can help meet those needs.

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CONTENTS

1 Introduction
Who this handbook is for
Abuse and safety issues

2 The Experience of Separating for Adults 
Separation: A process that occurs over time
Emotions of separating
Stages of separating
Tasks of separating for adults
A time to plan where to go from here
Worksheet #1:
Looking to the future: A self-assessment

3 The Experience of Separating for Children 
What children often experience
What children most want to know
How children often respond
What children need to hear
What children do not need to hear
How to tell the children
How parents can help children deal with the separation
When to get professional help for your children
Checklist: Best help for children of any age
Tips for children: Surviving your parents’ separation
Worksheet #2:
Focusing on my child

4 You and the Other Parent 
Games some parents play
Dealing with the other parent, where safety issues are not involved
Tips on how to be businesslike when communicating with the other parent
Negotiating informally with the other parent
Pitfalls to watch for in informal negotiations
Worksheet #3:
Practising positive communication skills

5 Resolving Legal Issues
In the best interests of the child
Parenting arrangements
Child support
Child Support Guidelines
Developing a parenting plan
Sample parenting plan
How to decide on a parenting plan
Option 1: You and your former partner can agree
Option 2: You can get help to reach an agreement
Option 3: You can get a lawyer to represent you in court
Checklist: Choosing a lawyer
Provincial Court: Family case conference
Changing court orders and agreements
Enforcing court orders
Worksheet #4:
Parenting plan

Resources

Recommended Reading 
Worksheet #5

Life after separation: Ways parents cope 

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