Expert Urges Couples To Protect Children From Court Battles

New Family Law Research Released

24.12.2010

Parents in the process of separating should do their utmost to keep their disputes out of court for the sake of their children, a family lawyer at Irwin Mitchell has advised.

Elizabeth Hicks, a London-based Partner at the law firm, made the comment after research by legal information firm Sweet and Maxwell revealed that around 140,000 children were featured in private family law applications in 2009.

The Press Association reports that this marked a 14 per cent rise from 2008 and the study highlighted that such trends could be linked to increasing debate over access and who children live with in the event of divorce.

Discussing the study, Elizabeth Hicks said: “While it is a sad fact of life that when a couple separates it is the children who are most affected, mediation and collaborative family law provide a way for the parents to work together to resolve their differences. 

“All of the research and statistics show that children are affected for many years by a bitter separation.

“If the parents, with the help of a trained mediator or collaborative lawyer, can appreciate that fighting over their child is not the best way of resolving a dispute, this can mean that the children are able to adjust to the separation without unnecessary conflict.

“Court proceedings are not only expensive but also tend to polarise the parents even further. Keeping disputes out of Court is clearly in the best interests of a child.”