When marriages and long-term relationships break down, parents may refer their children and adolescents to therapy for a variety of reasons. While the systemic therapist's preference may be to work with the family system/s, high conflict separation may prohibit such an approach. This article discusses family-focused child therapy that prioritises the needs of children while seeking to preserve a systemic approach. At a practice level this may involve: (a) individual child therapy, (b) engaging with smaller subsystems including siblings, (c) joint therapeutic work involving child/ren plus parent/s, and (d) any of these combinations; all while continuing to maintain a systemic understanding of the work. The article discusses the challenges of working with children from separated families, where there is restricted or no possibility of engaging with the broader family system.