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Putting Your Children First

Putting Your Children First

By: M. Taylor

Tags: Children, Family Law, Collaborative Family Law

Separation or divorce are always difficult, particularly where there are children involved, however, there are steps you can take to try to limit the damage.
Resolving issues around children or finances doesn’t have to mean having a huge fight through the courts.
There are other options: Alternative Dispute resolution (ADR) includes using Mediation, Collaborative Family Law or Arbitration to reach agreement can help you to avoid the worst of the acrimony, and to achieve a settlement which is based on your family’s personal needs.
As members of Resolution, we are committed to trying to resolve family issues in a constructive way, putting the needs of children first.
This week is Dispute Resolution Week when resolution and its members will be promoting alternatives to litigation, and encouraging parents going through family break ups to  focus on putting children first.
Many parents worry about the effect of a divorce on their children, and we often hear parents talk about staying together for the sake of the children.  Perhaps surprisingly, although children are naturally upset when their parents separate, children who have experienced their parents separation or divorce overwhelmingly say that parents who are not happy together should separate rather than staying together ‘for the sake of the children’
Resolution has commissioned independent research.  Young people aged between 14 and 22 who had experienced their parents’ divorce or separation were asked about their experiences.
The poll found that 82%  of the young people surveyed said that, despite their feelings at the time, they felt it was ultimately better that their parents divorced rather than stay together unhappily. Asked what advice they would give divorcing parents, one young person said, “Don’t stay together for a child’s sake, better to divorce than stay together for another few years and divorce on bad terms”; while another suggests children “will certainly be very upset at the time but will often realise, later on, that it was for the best”.
What children did want was to feel that they were involved in their parents decisions about the children’s future, but that they were not made to feel that they had to take sides or to choose between their parents .  The findings show that it conflict and uncertainty,  rather than  the separation itself, which children find most distressing and difficult. 88% of the young people polled said that it was important that children should not feel that they have to choose between their parents.  Many of them (47%)  felt that they had not understood what was happening during the divorce and a third that they would have liked their parents “not to be horrible” to each other during and after the separation.
Like other Resolution members, at FDC Law we will also support and encourage you to put your children’s neds first if you are separating from your partner or spouse, and we can help by ensuring that, wherever possible, disputes are dealt with in a non-confrontational way.  Marjorie Taylor, head of the family department, is a trained Collaborative Family Lawyer and in all cases we will ensure that you are given information about other forms of dispute resolution, including mediation, and that you are given information about other services which may help you to move forward.
More information may be found on Resolution’s website, or by contacting Marjorie or Marion.


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