The Impact of Divorce on Children

Amie Calder Family Solicitor

Resolution’s Good Divorce Week

With Resolution’s Good Divorce Week running from the 26th – 30th November 2018, WSP Solicitors are supporting the campaign which focuses on how separating or divorcing parents can limit the impact of divorce on children.

Our Family Solicitors are all members of Resolution. This means that we follow Resolution’s Code of Practice which promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems. Separating from your spouse or partner is a significant change. This can be difficult to deal with due to the emotions involved. It is important to resolve your family issues in a way that puts the best interests of your children first.

Our advice on how to best ensure a “good divorce” and limit the impact of divorce on children:

  • If at all possible, communicate in an open, honest and civilised manner with your spouse. Sit down with your children together to explain the situation, but do not involve them in the discussions about your separation.
  • Try to empathise and listen to the children. This is a difficult time in their lives as well as yours;
  • Despite your differences there has to be some trust between yourself and your spouse when dealing with children-related matters. There are options available if you and your spouse cannot agree the arrangements for your children following separation.

Your options

  • A solicitor can write to your spouse to put forward or ask for any proposals that they may have in relation to who the children live with (residence) and who the children spend time with (contact). A solicitor can draft a Parenting Agreement setting out the terms of any agreement reached between you.
  • If no agreement can be reached by solicitors, a referral could be made to mediation which can help parents to find a different way to communicate and co-parent following divorce or separation. If an agreement is reached through mediation then you will have this recorded within a Memorandum of Understanding document. It is now mandatory for parties to try to mediate before making an application to Court. However, there are exceptions to this rule, for example, if one parent has suffered domestic violence from the other parent.
  • If no agreement can be reached through solicitors or in mediation then it may be that an application will need to be sent off to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order. This will set out who the children should live and spend time with, and the specific details pertaining to the arrangements.

Christmas and the lead up to it can prove particularly problematic for separating or separated parents.

For advice in relation to any of these issues please get in touch with our Family Law Team or call 01453 847200 to book an appointment.

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