This article was published on November 27th, 2018
This last week of November is resolution’s ‘Good Divorce Week’. This is an initiative from the family law body, resolution, of which I have been a member since 1986. The idea of the initiative is to highlight ways in which parents can separate in a way which reduces conflict and thus lessen the impact it can have on children.
I spend my working life helping separating parents at a time when they are going through one of the most emotionally traumatic life events anyone can experience. I am constantly encouraging my clients to try to put the best interests of their children first. This is because all too frequently I have seen how the bitterness and resentment caused by the break-up can have a negative and long-lasting impact on the children.
I recall one particularly bad example. In the early part of my career, many years ago, I was at Court representing a client after the fall out from a particularly acrimonious episode between her and her husband concerning her 6 year old daughter.
The upshot was that the little girl concerned had to be returned to the care of her father who lived close by. Tempers were running so high that the Judge hearing the case did not feel he could trust the parties to deal with the handover without conflict and so prevailed upon me to actually collect the little girl from mum and transport to her father.
I saw first-hand how she was exposed to a parental conflict which even extended to mum making her take off the nice new clothes they had bought her so she returned to dad’s in the older ones she had been wearing when she arrived.
As you can tell, this has stayed with me for over 30 years and was one of the main reasons that I joined resolution which encourages the non-confrontational approach, which I have tried to promote all my working life.
The little girl will now be in her mid 30s and will probably have children of her own. I can only hope that having experienced first hand the effects of parental conflict, she will do everything possible to try and avoid it happening to her children if unfortunately she and the father of her children ever find that their relationship has failed.
If you are seeking a divorce and would like some advice on what steps you need to take to make an amicable separation, then please get in touch with the Thorneycroft Solicitors Family Law team today by calling 0800 1979 345 or request a call back at a more suitable time by completing our online enquiry form by clicking here.