Resolution, the organisation which represents family justice professionals committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes, has drawn up a new Parenting Charter, which sets out what children should be able to expect from their parents during and after their divorce.
“It’s not necessarily the fact of divorce itself that affects children, but any conflict that surrounds it. The way the current law around divorce is set up encourages conflict. Essentially people who are divorcing are stuck in a pincer, between emotional hurt and the loss of a relationship on one side, and a legal system that encourages recrimination and blame on the other,” explains Jo Edwards, Chair of Resolution.
She continues: “Parents can get caught up in the heat of the moment during divorce and start thinking of their former partner as the enemy, and not as the mother or father of their child. People often think about children’s interests in the sense of their material wellbeing – but it’s the emotional impact of seeing their parents in conflict that creates lasting psychological scars for children.”
Divorce can have repercussions that last for life
The Parenting Charter aims to remind divorcing or separating parents that children are individuals with their own rights to information and a voice during the separation process.
Resolution recently published the findings of a survey of young people whose parents had separated or divorced. The results show the extent of the impact of divorce conflict on children, with 14% of the young people surveyed saying that they started drinking alcohol, or drinking more alcohol than previously, as a result of their parents’ divorce. Arguably more concerning, 13% admitted to experimenting, or thinking about experimenting, with drugs as a result of their parents’ break-up. This emphasises how important it is to ensure that divorce is handled in a way that helps to mitigate the impact on children.
Jo Edwards says: “Ultimately, a high conflict divorce often sees children caught up in adult disputes. This can have repercussions for children that will last for life”.
Kenyon Son and Craddock’s Family Law department, will be supporting the use of the Charter in divorce cases at their Thorne and Goole offices. Please give us a call to discuss this further on 01405 813108 (Thorne) or 01405 720850 (Goole).