DANGERS OF CONTINUING COHABITATION AFTER SEPARATION AND THE EFFECTS ON CHILDREN.
What have you been advised to do? There is potential danger and injury to the physical and mental health of both the parties and their children where they choose to continue to live in a state of anxiousness and conflict.
Quite often the scenario pans out like this:
The couple stay living together even though they know the relationship is at an end.
An incident occurs. It is witnessed by the children or worse they are involved in it.
The Police attend the home.
A Domestic Violence Order is taken out by the Police or one of the parties does so shortly after the incident.
One party is “ousted” from the home.
The “ousted” party is removed from their home and often alienated from their children, not seeing them for months.
Mediation options then become limited as many services will not undertake any mediation at all where a DV order exists.
The outcome is then court proceedings which further damage the relationship of the parties and that of the children with both parents. The children often need counselling.
How could this all have been prevented?
Wherever possible where a decision has been made to end a relationship one of the parties should take responsibility for absenting themselves from that situation. In most cases leaving the other parent to care for the children in their usual surroundings until matters are resolved firstly through attempts at mediation or as a last resort application to court.
We often hear that this all happened because a friend (or a lawyer) has told them if they move out of the home they will be somehow legally disadvantaged. That is not the case, what occurs is that they may lose control but certainly not entitlements.