It's Good Divorce Week - but what exactly is a "good divorce?"
Life isn’t a fairy-tale. Despite good intentions and best efforts, sometimes people find that they are no longer compatible and wish to separate. Indeed, over 100,000 marriages end in divorce in the UK every year. Divorce is undeniably life-changing, but it does not have to be hostile and acrimonious.
Resolution is a national body of 6,500 Family Lawyers who are committed to resolving family disputes in a non-confrontational manner, with an emphasis on finding solutions that consider the needs of the whole family - and in particular, the best interests of children.
What is Good Divorce Week?
This year’s annual Resolution campaign, Good Divorce Week, runs from 26th – 30th November and focuses on how separating or divorcing parents can limit the impact of conflict on their children.
Why is it important?
The impact divorce can have on the children of the family is monumental, but in a 2015 ComRes survey of 14-22 years old, of those who had experienced family breakups, a huge 82% would prefer their parents to separate if they were unhappy.
Despite the majority of young people supporting a separation if necessary, the statistics also make clear the affects of divorce on children. 65% said that their GCSE exam results were affected and 44% said that their A-Levels suffered as a result of their parents’ separation or divorce. 28% of young people said that their eating habits changed, 14% said that they started drinking alcohol and 13% admitted to experimenting or thinking about experimenting with drugs.
What can be done?
So if the vast majority of young people would support their parents separating if they are unhappy, but statistics also show that a badly managed divorce can have serious adverse consequences for them, what steps can you take to minimise the negative impact of the divorce on your children?
Here are my top three tips:
- Look after yourself. Seek assistance if necessary to enable you to understand how anger, denial and depression can affect you. Recognising your feelings and how you can manage them will help you to better support your children through their emotions. You have to help yourself before you can help others;
- Don’t make your children feel that they have to choose between their parents. Generally speaking, children’s best interests are served by having both their parents in their lives, and 88% of young people surveyed said that it was very important for them not to feel this pressure;
- Do not involve the children in your dispute. If possible, don’t use handovers to discuss issues with your ex; this avoids the possibility of heated arguments occurring in front of the children.
More tips and guidance can be found on the Resolution website and by using this link
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