UK: Don’t let your divorce affect your children 1

A guest article by Simpson Sissons & Brooke Solicitors in Sheffield, England.

Going through a divorce can be a difficult time for everyone involved, not just the couple who are suffering. Friends of the couple find it difficult to provide support and care, especially if they are friends with both people in the couple. The couple’s parents may find it difficult to offer advice if they have not been in that situation before. However, when a couple gets divorced the people who can suffer the most are the couple’s children. There is a lot of potential for conflict in the family and, if not handled well, the children can suffer.

In some environments where couples are going through a divorce, children may be subject to lots of arguing and shouting at all hours of the day. While it is easy for the couple to get caught up in their own anger and misery, they must remember that they have children who should not be subject to what they are feeling.

Going through a divorce can even have an impact on older children who live at home. If a child is aged 15 or upwards, a parent may think that they have someone to confide in about their problems. This can turn a child against one of their parents if they only hear one side of the story. Alternatively, the child may feel alienated by both parents as they still love both of them equally but are being pulled in opposite, negative directions.

If a couple is going through a divorce there are many things they can do to keep their children out of it. By working with a family mediation service, the couple can sit down together and talk about their problems and how they are going to work through them to find a resolution. They should also talk about who will care for the children after the divorce and work out a system that benefits everyone involved. If a couple has children who are older they may feel that they should be involved in the mediation service as well to determine what is best for them, but in some cases this is not always appropriate.

Family law firms are available to provide many kinds of support, from mediation services to divorce lawyers. With the help of professionals, a divorce can be dealt with quickly and have the minimum negative impact on everyone involved. The cost of a mediation service is a small price to pay to protect children from such a negative environment.

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Discussion

  • A thought-provoking article. Children are usually the ones who get hurt most in divorce proceedings and parents should do as much as they can to minimise this.