Whilst you are in the midst of divorcing or separating there are many things you need to urgently investigate, understand and implement so you can move on and enjoy the best life possible. Time is limited as you work through divorce or separation and you need to ensure you make the right choices, take the right actions and ensure that life after the parting of your relationship will be as happy, secure, stable and fulfilled as it can be.
The desire and pressure to make the right choices regarding how you wish to raise your kids following divorce, separation and the breakdown of your family unit is of course paramount at this time. Your relationship may have parted, but the roles you and your ex have as parents to the children of the relationship will remain for life. As such, there is all the more reason to want to make a comprehensive and objective consideration of all possible options.
For this reason, I've created this training course, intended to share my knowledge, experience and learning in the course of setting up and living with a coparenting arrangement (also referred to as shared-parenting) which was originally implemented over 10 years ago with my ex-wife and mother of my 2 daughters following the parting of our marriage in 2005.
I am convinced that with proper thought, commitment, flexibility and consideration of a number of critical factors, coparenting can be established in a much greater number of separated families than is currently the norm. It works for me and my kids and I believe it will work for others in a similar situation.
Respecting the constraints and pressure on your time as you navigate divorce or separation, this course leads you through consideration of these critical factors to give you insight based on my experience in having set-up and lived with coparenting for over 10 years. Each lesson also leads you through the considerations that need to be made to assess whether it will work for you and your kids.
The key message behind this course is that whilst relationships and families break up every day, it doesn’t always have to come down to acrimony, custody agreements and disputes over visitation rights when negotiating for the future upbringing of the children of the relationship. There is a way that kids can be raised with the involvement of both Mum and Dad that gives parents and kids alike the best possible family environment that can be established; namely via shared- or coparenting where each parent fulfils 50% of the parenting role for the kids.
The 12 lessons within this course have been created and are presented by me, Toby Hazlewood, founder of Divorced Lifestyle Design, using a mix of lectures and narrated slides. Each lesson is also accompanied by a printable copy of the slides for you to write notes on.
At the end of the course you will be able to understand the core principles of coparenting in detail and will be equipped with the knowledge and insight to determine if it may work for you, your kids and your ex-partner in your family life after divorce or separation.
This lecture discusses the first and most important of the golden rules. These rules underpin the entire structure of the coparenting model that is discussed, and this particular golden rule underpins all the other rules as well, such is its importance.
This lecture covers the need for the model of coparenting that is established to be organised and structured in such a way that it allows all the participants (the parents and more importantly the children) to understand how it works in order that it can feel familiar and comfortable. The lecture also discusses why it is important that the model will be enduring for the long term.
Building on the previous lesson, this lecture covers the topic of change and outlines that while the coparenting model should be structured, inevitably there will be a need for considered flexibility. Since coparenting is intended as a long term model, it also needs to change over time as the children grow up and their needs change.
Whilst the premise of coparenting is that the kids come first in every consideration, this lecture focuses on how the adults in the arrangement can and should benefit from it as well. The assumption is that in establishing coparenting the needs of the children are met first and foremost but it also offers a useful means of the adults building a happy and fulfilled life for themselves as well.
Sustainability of the arrangement is key. This lecture discusses how the coparenting model can be relied upon as a family structure for life, and how to ensure that evolves to fulfil this purpose.
The topic of finances in divorce and separation generally is outside of the scope of this training course. However, this lesson outlines considerations that need to be made in financial terms to support coparenting and to give it the best chance of working for all involved. It is recommended at a fundamental level that finances associated with coparenting are kept completely separate both conceptually and practically from the wider finances of the divorce.
This lecture discusses the topic of timing, both of when to commence with coparenting after divorce and when to implement major changes to the arrangement once it is up and running. Considerations such as the age of the kids and the changes being contemplated are significant factors but there is a clear and consistent message regarding timing.
This lecture covers the challenge of the kids being raised in two homes where there may be two different sets of rules and ways of doing things. It outlines the key considerations in making this work and how to view the challenge in order that it doesn't anger or frustrate each parent, or confuse the kids.
Effective, focussed and on-topic communication is essential to setting coparenting up and in making it work for the long term. This lecture covers the types and methods of communication that are required and prompts you to consider how you can make this aspect of coparenting work.
This lecture outlines the need to protect the coparenting arrangement effectively once it is up and running. Comments, criticisms and outside pressures can be forthcoming both from our families and friends and also when either parent eventually moves forward with a new relationship. The lecture discusses ways of managing this and outlines why it is so important to do so.
Concluding the training, this lecture rounds off the training course with a summary of how coparenting can work and the enormous beneficial effects that can be enjoyed by all involved.
Toby Hazlewood is an author, father, husband, music fan and cycling enthusiast living in the North West of England.
As founder of Divorced Lifestyle Design, Toby is passionate about inspiring those who are working through divorce or separation to choose to thrive rather than merely surviving life after divorce. His belief is that after divorce, people tend to set their expectations of life at an extremely low level rather than believing that it can be used as a launchpad for great achievements, happiness and fulfilment in life. This viewpoint is driven from his own experiences following the failure of his first marriage in 2005. Toby is motivated to share the lessons learned in his own life to motivate others to maximise their expectations and achievements in their career, relationships, parenting and many other aspects of life where we can either set out to achieve the best rather than merely 'getting by'.
Toby's books, training courses and coaching services are intended to increase aspiration and to provide practical information and instruction that helps others achieve results and real improvements in their lives.