Home / 

We forgot about our child’s feelings during separation

We were so caught up in our own conflict we forgot the most important person in our lives.

Stacey and I had been separated for three years. We lived under the same roof for two of those years until I got into a new relationship. When that relationship looked like it was headed towards marriage, Stacey and I began a formal separation process. We also agreed that we should formalise a parenting agreement for our daughter Jolie and decided to get in touch with Better Place Australia for guidance. 

During the intake process, the family dispute resolution practitioner suggested we include Jolie in the process of drawing up the agreement. We hadn’t thought of this but liked the idea, especially since Jolie had emotionally withdrawn from both of us and we weren’t sure how she was coping with the separation. 

After the suitability and risk assessments were completed, the practitioner organised the first joint mediation session. The practitioner also recommended that Jolie undergo a child informed mediation process. Jolie very reluctantly attended the session and started out displaying anger and eventually became emotional.

It turned out that she was hurt and angry at not being asked how she felt about our separation and not having the opportunity to talk to us about the conflicts that led to it. She told the practitioner that she wanted us to treat her the same way as we did before we separated. She confessed to feeling distant from us even before the separation. 

Jolie also said that she wanted her mum to be happy and spend more time with her friends. She wanted to see us communicating normally instead of constantly snapping at each other. 

Jolie’s words had a huge impact on us and especially on Stacey. We realised that we had been so caught up in our conflict that we forgot about her feelings. 

We brought her into the discussion on working out a parenting schedule that was flexible and suited her life. We also began making an effort to communicate more positively with each other. There have been the occasional hiccups in this process but it’s a lot smoother now thanks to the support and guidance from Better Place Australia.

Watch the video case study below of a similar couple who were separated under the same roof and how we mediated for them.


Better Place Australia family dispute resolution service

The mission of Better Place Australia is to empower people to become more resilient, enjoy healthier relationships and support them through challenging times. When it comes to separating smarter, Better Place Australia family dispute resolution service may be the mediation you need. For help, contact us today.

Video case study snapshot

Scroll to Top