Parenting After Separation

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At Gordon Zwaenepoel, we share the belief that parenting your children well after separation is your most important task. We believe that good parenting is even more important when parents separate, as you and your children adjust to your new family circumstances. Children of separating parents need their parents to create a new future that provides a peaceful, cooperative environment for the children, whenever possible.

As early as possible in your separation, you will need to focus on your children's needs, even as you deal with the other aspects of your separation. Decisions about children are to be made based solely on the children's best interests. We encourage parents to get legal advice and to be open to different methods of coming to a good parenting plan for the family.

There is no one solution that suits all families. There is no rule about how responsibilities for children are shared and divided – except that it is the interests of the children, not the parents, that are considered. In the best cases, parents work together to arrive at a plan for sharing responsibilities and time with children that works best for the children and for the two parents. Often parents can arrive at plans with the assistance of a mediator. Lawyers can assist by giving good advice about parenting plans in any set of circumstances and helping parents recognize their children's interests as different from their own issues. Our lawyers can help - whether they act as mediators to assist both parties, or act for one parent through a collaborative process, negotiation, or litigation. We can also help you decide which process is best for you.

We encourage all of our clients to take the free Parenting After Separation course offered by the courts. More information can be found on line at and parties can call to schedule their attendance at the course by phoning (780)413-9805.

There is no cost and you do not go with your spouse to attend the Parenting After Separation course. Every parent can learn something from this course about parenting in these new circumstances. Attending the course will be mandatory when you are ready to file any court documents relating to your divorce or separation, if you have children under 16. It is best to attend as soon as you can, to begin your separation on the right path.

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