What to do and where to start when it comes to the kids after separation and divorce.


Where do I start?

The simple answer is, you start right here. Gathering information so you can make decisions that are right for you and your family.

The Family Law Act talks about parents' responsibilities and kids' rights.

Parental responsibility is about making the major long term decisions for your kids, as long as it is safe to do so. 

Kids have a right to a meaningful relationship with both parents, as long it is safe to do so.

There are no defined 'rights' when it comes to kids' living arrangements. That is something the parents are encouraged to work out. If you can't work it out, a court will. 

I guess you need to ask yourself the question, do you want to make decisions about your kids or do you want someone else to do it?

You protect them by limiting their exposure to ongoing high levels of parental conflict.

We know that kids who have a parental 'team', that can work together, are less likely to suffer emotional or psychological ill effects from their parents separation.

The best way to reduce conflict is to get a Parenting Plan in place early on, so there is certainty and structure for all of you.

The short answer is some will and most won't.

If the parents are able to work together and create a Parenting Plan, you will not need a lawyer.

Only 3% of separated families use the court pathway to resolve their disputes, although 16% use other non-court pathways like lawyer negotiations and mediation. 

If there is a risk of harm to you or the children, you should consult a lawyer.

Yes you can.

Your starting point is to create a Parenting Plan for your kids moving forward.

Just because you can't agree right now, doesn't mean you have run out of non-court options.


In fact 97% of separated parents don't go to court when it comes to their kids. 

The Family Law Act encourages separated parents NOT to go to court and look for other pathways to resolve their differences. In fact, for most families, they must go to mediation before bringing their dispute to court.

You'll start by sitting down together and having a conversation. You will discuss your options and make decisions. These will form your Parenting Plan. 

Your Parenting Plan will include living arrangements, holidays, communication and other important information to make sure you are parenting as a team, albeit in separate homes.

You are going to need some help communicating and making decisions.

A family mediator can help you have a meaningful and structured conversation and help you problem solve your way through your differences.

Family mediation is where an independent person, a mediator, helps you discuss your concerns and problem solve your way through your differences.

First steps

Create a pathway that gives your family structure, certainty and a clear focus on how the future will look.

Do you need a Parenting Plan template?

$ 9.95

Our 30 page work books steps you through the decisions you need to make so you create a Parenting Plan that works for the whole family.

The 'Our Plan' workbook includes:

  • Suggested living arrangement, holiday and special days structures;
  • Weekly and bi-weekly calendar templates;
  • Communication guidelines and agreement checklists;
  • Space to create ground rules;
  • Space to record and share medical information, particular school related information, important contacts and nutritional goals; and
  • Once the workbook is completed it forms a valid and recognised format of a Parenting Plan.



But what if we can't agree?

Do we have to go to court?

If you're stuck and just can't agree!

Here are your 3 non-court based options.

Family Matters

Our online program that walks you through the process of directed and positive communication so you can negotiate with the other parent, even if things haven't gone so well in the past.


Online Mediation

Online private mediation for up to 4 hours, including free access to Family Matters. Let Rachael guide you both through the mediation process and help you create a Parenting Plan for the future.


Lawyer negotiations

Just because you see a lawyer, doesn't always mean you'll end up in court! In fact, The Separation Place can recommend a bunch of trustworthy ones who are known for keeping people out of court!


Do you need a little help?

Family mediation can help you get to yes, even when you never thought it was possible.

The Separation Place offers a streamlined online mediation service which helps you make decisions without having to go to court.

All our mediations are conducted by Rachael Hempling, who has helped keep hundreds of people out of court.

Rachael is a nationally accredited mediator and family dispute resolution practitioner registered by the Australian Department of Attorney General. She has over 16 years experience as a lawyer and now practices exclusively in family mediation.

If you want to save time, money and heartache, then consider mediation as your first port of call.


Confused and don't know where to start?

Start by downloading our free guide below to help you on your way.

Do you need to find some courage after separation?

Download our free guide to help move your family forward after separation and divorce.


50% Complete

Register your interest

We are looking for families going through separation to complete our online separation course. Its free! That's a saving of $397! All we ask is that you complete a questionnaire after completion.