Alberta family law: Feelings and co-parenting after divorce

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in Family Law on Tuesday, August 22, 2017.

Just because a couple decides to end their relationship as a couple doesn’t prevent the individuals from coming together to raise their children. Family law in Alberta provides for many ways in which parents can do that, but it’s not always easy. Sometimes, co-parenting can be challenging especially when feelings are still volatile. Those feelings, though, can be channelled into something positive.

Feelings of loss, anger and hurt can still be lingering, especially if the separation is relatively new; however, ignoring them may only result in actions neither individual wants — shouting, making spur-of-the-moment decisions or using the children as a sounding board. The way in which parents deal with their emotions around their children could demonstrate how well they handle the situation themselves. Accepting all the swirling emotions is the first way to become excellent co-parents.

The only way out of feelings is through them. Going through a divorce is relatively common these days, and people have to realize they’re not alone. Negative feelings do have an end. Pausing and ascertaining where the feelings are being manifest in the body is one way of letting them go. 

Finding an outlet to express those emotions is crucial, for the sake of everyone involved. Kick a punching bag or a pillow, express the emotions through art or go on a hike. But whatever they do, parents should avoid expressing negative emotions around the children. And if things get too much to bear, there are a number of counsellors, mediators and mental health experts willing to help.

This is a chance for the entire family unit to grow emotionally. Reaching out to an Alberta lawyer experienced in family law will help. He or she will be able to provide assistance in many ways, including finding help through mediation. The main thing is for the divorced couple to become the best parents they can be, separately and together.

Source:, “Co-Parenting Challenges: 7 Ways To Make Your Feelings Work For You”, Karen Kristjanson, Accessed on Aug. 11, 2017

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