An updated version of this blog can be found here.
When two people separate, there is generally a high level of acrimony and the ability for them to effectively communicate to reach an agreement in respect to their childrens’ care and living arrangements can be challenging.
It is crucial for parents to be able to communicate respectfully and productively to ensure that the impact on the children from the breakdown of the family unit is minimised. When parents are able to set aside their differences and promote a healthy relationship between the children and each parent, the children benefit.
We understand that some parties can achieve this when there is an amicable end to their relationship. On the other hand, in circumstances where there is a high level of distrust and animosity between the parties it can be difficult for themto move past their emotions.
At Andersons we promote parents participating in parenting courses. Parenting courses are focused on helping parents rebuild a productive and cooperative relationship to promote the best interests of the children. We don’t make this recommendation because we think some people are “bad parents”. The courses are designed to assist people dealing with the difficulties that arise from parenting after separation.
What is the court’s view on parenting courses?
It is common for Judges in the Family Law Courts to make orders for parties to participate in and provide proof of completion of specific parenting courses.
Where can you do a parenting course?
Parenting courses are run by community centres.
Some of the most common parenting courses completed by parents after separation include:
There are of course a wide variety of courses run through many providers. It is important for parties to find a parenting course that meets their needs. There are programs which can focus on specific issues such as family violence or parenting young children.
In addition to providing parenting courses a lot of community centres provide support such as counselling and support groups for parents who are dealing with similar situations. Utilising these services can be beneficial as they widen a person’s support network.
And we cannot forget that it isn’t just parents who benefit from post separation courses either; children can too. There are lots of programs run by the same providers, for the children who may be struggling with the breakdown of the family unit.