Making appropriate parenting arrangements is the most important challenge faced by separating parents. The challenge is particularly difficult if the children concerned are babies or toddlers. What arrangements are developmentally appropriate for the “under 3s”? How should parenting arrangements be documented? What assistance is available for parents negotiating such arrangements?
What arrangements are suitable for children under 3 years of age?
This depends on a child’s individual needs, routine and stage of development. There is no “one size fits all” arrangement which works for all babies or toddlers. When making arrangements for young children, parents should consider how their child will adapt to changes such as an introduction of overnight time with one parent or increased time away from their primary caregiver.
Where can parents turn for advice?
Parents can seek expert assistance about age-appropriate care arrangements from professionals with expertise in child development. Such professionals include counsellors, dispute resolution practitioners, and child psychologists. Websites designed especially for parents and providing useful information about post-separation parenting include that of www.parentlink.act.gov.au or www.familyrelationships.gov.au.
How should parenting arrangements be documented?
Arrangements for babies and toddlers usually require flexibility or a process of review, to allow for the changing needs of children. Our team of specialist family lawyers can provide you with expert legal advice on documenting your agreement.