Divorce Lawyer Talks About Managing Impact Of Divorce On Children
As news of Tiger Woods’ wife consulting a divorce lawyer hits the headlines, it seems she is not the only one. Statistically, Monday 4th January was the busiest day of the year for family solicitors and experts are predicting a 2% increase in divorces over the next 12 months. Even the bookies are listening in on the suspected upward trend, taking bets on whether Cheryl Cole will divorce Ashley in 2010. So why has divorce fever taken over? And, more importantly, what can you do to make sure that you and your children are ok if you find yourself as one of the masses?
January always sees a large number of people seeking matrimonial advice due to the end of the festive period seeming a good time to tell the children or personal resolutions dictating that, this year, things will be different. Tight finances due to the recession have added strain to relationships so with the economy on the turn, early 2010 could appear the ideal time to sell the former matrimonial home and move on without large debts.
But enough about the “why’s” and the statistics. When you are going through a separation or divorce, it is of no consequence that there are many others in the same position as you – the emotion, stress and anxiety that you feel remains the same. You still have your life to lead, the finances to sort out and most significantly your children to look after.
Liz Tait, specialist Family lawyer at leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell, recognises that many parents worry about the potential negative impact of their separation on their children and can offer practical advice on how best to manage the situation. “Children do best when both parents have a stable and meaningful involvement in their lives”. Although your and your former partner’s involvement in one another’s lives may be ceasing, it is crucial that you remain at the table for joint discussions concerning your children. “A child focused parenting plan negotiated between you as parents, either directly or with help from mediation, collaborative process or through your lawyers will help your children at this time”.
Whilst the physical divorce process may be complete before the dawn of 2011, joint parenting is forever. “Tell your children that your relationship as parents can never be taken away. Recognise that each parent has different and valuable contributions to make to their children’s development”.
Even if you do not want to see your former partner, shared parenting time is essential for the children. “Keep a regular contact arrangement that the children can count on. Children need continuity, although bear in mind that the plan must allow for changes as the children mature”. Though it will seem hard, time away from the children will help you create a new life for yourself – doing the things that you want and need to do, on your own, to move toward a happy, sustainable future.
It is not a divorce itself that harms children, but the parent’s approach to it. It is possible to make a “good divorce”. Frequently the solution is co-operation.
If you would like to speak to someone regarding a divorce, the matrimonial finances or the children, our friendly family team are here to help. Call us on 0370 1500 100.