Most Australian kids do well after divorce, but that will be up to you. Divorce can be damaging for children, but it isn’t usually the divorce itself that causes lasting hurt for children, but rather the parental conflict surrounding the divorce. When parents are in conflict, children will also experience the tension and feel like they are in the middle. They may feel like messengers or peacekeepers.
Family conflict during and after separation can lead to ongoing dysfunction, and if that happens, your children will be affected emotionally and even developmentally.
On the other hand, if you and your partner work together to protect your children from harm, avoid conflict and put the children’s needs first, then there’s much less chance that your divorce will have a negative impact on them. That is one of the founding motivations of MELCA.
Keep kids out of the middle
In the midst of an emotionally charged divorce, it can be easy for couples to forget that their children should come first, or in fact to see that the kids are taking a back seat to their parents’ distress. Issues regarding the children’s living arrangements or funds for their care can become just another argument for you or your ex to win.
At MELCA, you will work with a child specialist who helps to keep your children’s best interest at the forefront. From working with you about telling your children that you’re separating, to managing parenting issues in the long term, we help provide you with tools to put your kids first, and give them the support they need.
Child support can be hard to understand if you haven’t looked closely at your family’s spending in the past, or if you don’t share the same understanding of the children’s costs and what that means. Because it’s a large financial commitment, it can be easy to lose site of the fact that child support is not a payment from one parent to the other. It is a way of ensuring your children are cared for so your dreams and aspirations for them are met.
Like your settlement negotiation, child support is a complex issue that benefits from a personalized solution where care is taken to meet your family’s needs. When you rely on a Child Support Assessment, a standard formula is used to make sure your children get something, but almost guarantees that they won’t be able to live the life you want for them, or the life they have lived.
At MELCA, parents work with the neutral financial planner to understand the actual costs of their children based on what they’ve spent in the past and future expectations for their health, education and lifestyle. This type of personalized Child Support Agreement between parents ensures that children will experience as little disruption to their lives as possible as a result of the separation.
Traditionally, divorce ignores the adult children in the picture. Child Support doesn’t cover your kids in university or your adult children with special needs, and there needs to be a separate conversation about how young adults are to be supported.
Even if your children are older and independent, your separation can affect things like the family trust, business succession, and estate planning.
Your relationship with your adult children can also be effected by conflict with your ex. You will both want to be able to have relationships with your children and grandchildren and be part of family events and celebrations. At MELCA we acknowledge these issues, even when the law doesn’t, because we know they’re important to the future of your family.