Doing what is best for your children during your separation can be the most challenging aspect of the separation/divorce process and is often the most important.
My approach to dealing with children in these situations is multidisciplinary. While a family law lawyer can help you with your legal rights and obligations in relation to the children, that is only part of the picture. We can help you look at the big picture — the overall best interests of your children — and the processes and arrangements that would best serve this. This will put your children first, and this often requires teamwork with other family professionals because lawyers are rarely child experts.
Working as a Team
With family mediation and collaborative family law, we work closely with experienced family relations professionals (social workers and other parenting experts) who contribute their own expertise to the situation. If you or your children need support outside of the negotiation or mediation setting, part of my role is to connect you to qualified professionals who can help.
The parents I deal with have a number of questions, including:
- How will we share the rights and responsibilities of raising the children?
- How will we share decision-making?
- What will the parenting schedule look like?
- Will I lose contact with my children?
- Will I be replaced as Mom or Dad?
- Can my ex move away with the children?
- How will a new partner impact my relationship with my children?
- Who will keep our family home?
- Where will the children live?
- Will the decisions we make about custody and access influence child and spousal support?
- What will happen as the children grow and what if they decide they don’t like the arrangements we’ve worked out?
- How can we preserve the children’s relationships with both parents if there is a lot of hostility between us?
Working together, we can deal with these questions and draft a separation agreement that will take into account the unique needs of your children and your family, and will be flexible enough to adapt as your children grow and their needs change.
Contact John G. Goodwin
If you have questions about your family and your children and what is best for them following your separation or divorce, contact me at 613-236-0662 or fill out my online form and we will contact you.