As a Resolution member, I am committed to a constructive approach to helping clients achieve fair and lasting outcomes for couples and their families. Resolution is an organisation of around 6,500 professionals working with separating couples who believe that most problems are best solved without unnecessary confrontation.
One of the principles Resolution members follow is of the utmost importance this is to place children at the heart of any decisions made during or following separation or divorce.
The law is clear that the needs of children should be put first and their welfare will always be paramount in any decisions made by the Courts. Sadly in the emotional minefield of separating, couples can and do lose focus on the impact their decisions or approach can have on their children.
As we all know, children are individuals and will react very differently to divorce or separation, often what they say and what they are feeling are two very different things. Late last year Resolution commissioned a poll of young people (aged 14-22) with experience of parental separation and the results should be borne in mind by any parent going through a separation. For me perhaps the saddest finding from the research was that 19% sometimes felt like the separation or divorce was their fault, other key findings included:
- More than 60% felt their parents had not ensured they were part of the decision-making process in their separation or divorce.
- 82% prefer their parents to part if they are unhappy. They said it was ultimately better than their parents had divorced, with one of those surveyed adding that children “will often realise, later on, that it was for the best”.
- 50% indicated they did not have any say as to which parent they would live with or where they would live.
- 88% agreed it was important to make sure children do not feel like they have to choose between parents
The results of the survey support the main advice Resolution shares in its Parenting Charter, which sets out what children should be able to expect from their parents during a divorce. You can download a copy. The focus is on:
- be at the centre of any decisions made about their lives
- feel and be loved and cared for by both parents
- know and have contact with both sides of their families, including any siblings who may not live with them, as long as they are safe
- a childhood, including freedom from the pressures of adult concerns such as financial worries
At Beswicks Legal we help you make sure your children are at the heart of separation and we specialise in children matters and disputes which can be complex, fast-paced and technically demanding.
To sign off on a high note, 50% of young people in the Resolution poll agreed that their parents put their needs first during their separation or divorce. Of course, this will be in large part due to parents doing the right things, but I know from personal experience that having a solicitor who gives honest unbiased advice adds an invaluable perspective that helps ensure minimal conflict and a fair outcome for the separating couple and crucially for the children too.