Deciding to separate and divorce can be an extremely difficult decision to make, especially when children are involved. As parents separate and divorce, the most important task they have is to help the children cope with and adjust to the new family circumstances.
It is important that parents recognize, as early on in the separation process as possible, that children’s needs must come first. Even as you deal with all the other aspects of separating and divorce such as child support, spousal support, property division, it is important to remember that the children may not always understand why parents are divorcing. Sometimes children might blame themselves for the parents’ separation.
At HART LAW OFFICE we believe that separating parents must learn quickly to communicate and cooperate with each other in order to be able to make the best decisions possible for the children. We strongly encourage separating parents to meet with lawyers and obtain advice on the many different ways that parents can reach a good parenting plan for the family. There are no specific rules about who makes the decisions for the children. What is important to remember is that whatever decisions are made for the children, those decisions should be in the best interests of the children. This is a common theme you may hear from your lawyer or from a Judge.
The Alberta Rules of Court do require that if you are filing any court documents and if you have children under the age of 16, you must take the Parenting After Separation course offered by the courts. You can obtain more information about this course by phoning (780) 413-9805 or by going on-line to www.albertacourts.ab.ca. There is no cost for this course and you do not need to attend with your spouse. The course is typically offered Tues/Thurs evenings or all day Saturday.