Dad dot info
Free online course for separated parents
Forum - Ask questions. Get answers.
Free online course for separated parents

Reaching agreement

mattz118

mattz118

{loadposition article-advertise} Divorce or separation is not  simply a matter of deciding to stop living with each other. This is especially so when you have children. We offer you some suggestions about the kind of things that you will need to reach agreement on.

 

Q: How should we reach agreement?

Without doubt, reaching agreement through discussion and compromise is the best way forward. If you can arrange things without going through the court process you will find it:

  • less stressful for your children
  • less stressful for you and your child’s mum
  • quicker
  • cheaper
  • more enduring

It will also make your children feel more emotionally contained and reassure them that they can rely on their parents to remain stable. It also models a co-operative adult relationship, something they will draw on in their own adult life.

If you need some help in reaching agreement, you could use a trained mediator. You may also wish to consult a solicitor in order to get some background legal information.  

Mediation: agreeing without the courts  

Q: What do we need to agree on?

There are a few key things that most couples need to agree on when they decide to separate:

  • child arrangements
  • the division of assets including property, savings and pensions
  • spousal maintenance
  • child maintenance

Types of contact

Q: How do we reach agreement about child arrangements?

Except in extreme cases, it is important that children spend time with both of their parents. This helps them to adjust to the new situation and provides the input that they need to internalise a secure attachment to their mum and dad allowing them to grow with a sense of emotional security.

Remember that what counts in child arrangements is quality not quantity. You should use your child’s pre-divorce care patterns as a guide to agreeing new arrangements.

Q: How do we reach agreement about parenting input?

Parenting input is the way that you will make decisions about your child’s wellbeing. You may need to make arrangements to agree things such as diets, religious upbringing, schools, bed times, ways of guiding behaviour and even hours spent on the computer.

Q: How do we reach agreement about housing?

You will need to consider not only your own housing needs but the needs of your child or children. It is therefore a good idea to agree child arrangements before deciding what you are going to do about housing.

You may wish your child to remain in the family home if care will mostly be provided by one parent. Alternatively, you may need to sell the family home in order to provide two suitable homes where ongoing care will be more evenly shared.

Your housing

Q: How do we reach agreement about the division of assets?

If your relationship with your child’s mum is going to remain co-operative and constructive, then it is important to make the division of assets as fair as possible. It is also important to take into consideration the ongoing financial security of your children.

Q: How do we reach agreement about financial maintenance?

Financial maintenance breaks down into two possible elements. A potential need to provide maintenance for your child’s mum and the need for your child to be provided for financially. You may need to talk to a mediator or a solicitor when agreeing maintenance.

The Child Maintenance Service will also be able to rule on the level of child maintenance. Again, a mediator or solicitor will also be able to help. It is important that you make arrangements that don’t disadvantage your child when they are with you or their mum.

Legal Support

About the author

Clare Kirby qualified as a lawyer in 1983 and worked for several years in industry. She founded Kirby & Co in 1997. As a member of Resolution and an advanced member of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel she is experienced and respected in the field of family law. Trained as a collaborative lawyer, Clare offers clients a range of options – traditional, and collaborative law – to best meet the needs of the individual clients.

Updated: February 2018

 

 

Related entries

How to have a ‘good divorce’

How to have a ‘good divorce’

This week marks Good Divorce Week and Dad Info is gathering tips and information from those in the know about how to have an amicable, less painful divorce experience. In England & Wales, 42% of marriages end in divorce; that means there’s only a 1 in 2 chance...

Helping kids cope with divorce or separation

Helping kids cope with divorce or separation

There is no bigger change in kids' lives than separation or divorce. Children in particular can have trouble adjusting to post-split realities. The rituals and traditions that were formed when the whole family was together are no more and your child may experience...

Latest entries

Eating together is important- for both you and your kids

Eating together is important- for both you and your kids

As busy parents it can be tempting to shovel our food down Homer Simpson-style, while the kids watch a cartoon. With our daily lives so busy, it can feel like too much effort to sit down to eat together. However, research is coming to light that shows why eating meals...

ASK DEBBIE: DO I SPLIT UP MY KIDS?

ASK DEBBIE: DO I SPLIT UP MY KIDS?

Hi Dad, What a difficult decision for you. There are several things to consider here before making the final decision. Separating the children could impact the quality of the sibling relationship. This relationship is important and beneficial to the two children....

Prostate problems: what you need to know

Prostate problems: what you need to know

As it's Men's Mental Health Month (Movember) in November, Dad Info is focussing on awareness of men's health issues. As part of this series we are focussing on prostate problems. What is a prostate? The prostate is a small tube found only in men, surrounding the tube...

Pin It on Pinterest