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Richard Perrins - Partner, Coles Miller

How Divorce Affects Children: And How You Can Ease The Pain25th Nov 2015

Update, January 30, 2020: Children's Mental Health Week will take place from February 3-9 2020. It is organised by children’s mental health charity Place2Be.

Update, January 17, 2019: Parental separation is more likely to harm the mental health of children if they are aged at least seven when the split occurs, according to the Millennium Cohort Study.
 

You’re getting divorced or separating. Your children don’t know yet. When will you tell them? What will you say? How will they react?

Not well. Possibly worse than you realise – because the questions they’ll be asking themselves will be even more daunting.

Such as “Why won’t my parents talk to me? Is all this my fault? Where will I live? Where will I go to school?”

Research for Family Dispute Resolution Week (November 23-27 2015) shows that 62 per cent of 14-22-year-olds believe they were left out of the decision making process during divorce.

And 47 per cent of children did not understand what was happening when their parents split up.

Most of all, 88 per cent feared being forced to choose between one parent or the other.

These statistics might be news to some but they are all too depressingly familiar to our Poole, Bournemouth and Broadstone divorce solicitors

Fortunately, our family law team includes expert mediators. They help to take the conflict out of divorce.

Mediation keeps cases out of court and stops battlelines from being drawn – so divorce has much less of an impact on the children. 

Using an accredited mediator means sitting down together, starting with points of agreement and building on them constructively so you can reach sensible compromises.

You and you soon-to-be ex may not always agree on what is best for your children. But you probably agree that they must come first.

Which is just as well – because in the eyes of the law, what happens to your children is the most important consideration in any divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership.

Contact Richard Perrins for expert and sympathetic legal advice on separation, divorce or dissolution of civil partnerships.