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Separating parents and child access

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion


A divided family can be the most distressing time for the parents. It would be ideal if all separated parents could communicate and leave the anguish in the past- but it’s not common.


So you’ve just separated and you have a child/children to your partner. Once you confirm in your mind that the separation is likely permanent you should seek out a family law solicitor to apply for official access to your children. It doesn’t matter how well you get on with your ex, this step is to safeguard you for the entire time they remain a child till 18yo which could be many years and, people can change.


If you have sole custody then you are entitled to child support unless the amount of time and days you have the children goes beyond a certain amount- read this in the SERVICES AUSTRALIA BASIC CHILD SUPPORT FORMULA. Authorities will encourage parties to come to an agreement so give that a try. My ex flatly refused, her right and move on.


As my children were 7 and 4 when I separated, I had a long time to go with child support however my eldest when reaching 12yo came to live with me, one child each meant no child support was payable.

Always keep receipts.


In my experience some people can remain friendly and work as a team for any issues with their children however, it is in the nature of the parent whether this can occur. In my case my ex wouldn’t allow me to take my kids to parent and teacher nights for example as “I look after that” and my visitation times didn’t allow it. This is one example of shutting out one parent to raise the status of themselves. There is some horror stories out there on issues like this, don’t let them get to you, stay strong.


If you are a dad and feel you need support you can write in here or visit DADS IN DISTRESS online. Here at Beyondblue we can help you with discussing depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Community champions like myself have lived experience in this field. I endured it, I survived and my daughter appreciated it. You are needed by your children, take care of yourself.



6 Replies 6

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Tony, I know someone close to me who has separated and they used a mediator to discuss what each person wanted and they agreed on 50/50 share of the kids which was then drawn up in a contract along with other decisions and then given to a lawyer to draft the arrangement which then had to go to court to finalise the agreement.

The court then went over the documents and if anything was amiss either by the agreement or favoured a person that wasn't satisfactory, it then had to be drawn up again.

Now adays the situation could be different, but the mediator was free, but not the lawyer who had to be paid.


Life Member.

Community Member

Hi there tony and Geoff , hope you guys are good.

Ex and l have always worked together 120% so as sad as up parting ways was , at least we've gotten that bit right. No receipts needed, no lawyers, no agreements, nothing. Even when we sold the house met ex at the bank handed over her half and that was sadly that.

But since and from day one our houses and hearts, time , are always open to my d - of course, mutually 120% and whichever she prefer or we prefer at the time no problemo. l've stayed nearby all these yrs and we come and go she comes and goes anytime we please.

To me that was as close as we could do in just continuing on as a natural family environment for her as.

We've never signed one thing , although l do think we signed the d papers , l dunno, they just went in the bin tbh l don't even remember.

Don't get me wrong , that isn't meant in a disrespectful sense to a marriage but at the same time l came to think well what is that even worth anyway then now- sign to go in , which means nothing apparently anyway bc you just sign to go out again when you've had enough anyway, soooo, ok, whatever.


white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion



Thanks for the additional information. Very significant


l suppose to but l find all that stuff just so hard to fathom . You know , how could two people have been in love once and lived lives together and had their children but yet end up needing all that stuff like two strangers when it didn't work out.

Unfortunately it's so common though l know but that still just boggles the mind.


For us when l say no agreements just meaning in nothing official as such nor was it ever needed. But of course we did talk and agree on the ways we'd go and we still talk even now any time at all whenever necessary.





I've seen first hand couples like you and your ex communicate really well. The kids benefit, all benefit. However take my experience as one example of how it only takes one party to be stubborn and you have a mess to deal with.


My ex was extremely lazy, we agreed she be a stay at home mum, a homekeeper as such while I worked. Rising interest rates in the late 1980's resulted in me working 3 jobs and doing the cooking and changing nappies more often than she. Eventually after 11 years I broke and had no option but to leave. Once I left, a time that produced my one and only attempt on my life, I was faced with a ex that gave nothing to communication so her stubbornness and feeling of rejection kicked in. For 14 years I tried just to talk normally before my youngest reached 18. I then sent her a message never to talk to me again. My ordeal was over. That was 13 years ago.


Ironically my now wife of 12 years I matchmade with my ex's brother. They parted in 2008 after 20 years (no kids). He too had the same attitude. Another sibling the same.


My assessment has a lot to do wit maturity. I truly believe many people dont mature fully. Some narcissistic tendencies prevail in these people, I've read recently that narcissism in particular triangulation of people and lack of empathy is akin to school yard mentality. Pitting school friends against each other and taking sides, I'm enduring that with my sister ATM hence my disappointing xmas recently.


So in summing up with some parents of under age children there is no chance of a friendly separation even for the kids sake. And work friends at the time said "it always takes two" meaning two to argue, two to no have a friendly attitude, no!


it only takes one.



Yeah well that was the hope , to try and keep things as close to a sort of normal and real family that we could. lt wasn't easy at times still being in contact all he time the way we have but it's been worth it and it has made the best out of what we could.


But maturity yeah , of course and it only takes one l know and it happens all the time. One decides to carry on and things get spiteful and stupid all just making things so much worse for the kids and the other parent . Such a shame and sad damaging mess.