Good Divorce Week

29th November 2021

Today marks the start of Resolution's Good Divorce Week (running from 29 November to 3 December). This year's focus is on positive co-parenting after separation, which is the subject of their newly launched publication the "Parenting Through Separation Guide".

As a decade-long member of Resolution, I am one of 6,500 family law professionals championing a non-confrontational approach to resolving family law disputes. Members commit to encouraging a  constructive approach when working with their family law clients and we work hard to ensure that children’s best interests are at the heart of the solutions proposed.

With the inevitable stress and uncertainty of relationship breakdown, it is important that parents do not forget their role to shield their children from any potential acrimony or uncertainty. Emotions will often run high during the early stages of separation and so parents can potentially lose sight of this.

The guide provides practical suggestions about how to approach the challenges of being a separated family at the outset and when encountering potential challenges of the future. Tips include:

  • When separating, try to have a joint conversation with the children that is suited to their ages and level of understanding. Follow up discussions will help too and might be pitched at different levels depending on the ages and level of support preferred by your children.
  • Remember that you are role models to your children and they will take your lead and will also be more reassured if you are calm and constructive, whilst they adjust to their new home life.
  • Avoid criticising the other parent in front of the children and let them see you work together, where possible. It will be a lot more reassuring to see you working together for their benefit.
  • Avoid discussions about the finances or children’s arrangements when the children are present. I often remind clients that this does not only mean when the parents are physically present but also when having telephone discussions, such as speaking when the children are in earshot or when using speaker settings when travelling in the car for example.

I, like all Resolution members, uphold the organisation’s Code of Conduct and routinely advise clients on how to address problems arising from their children’s arrangements (or their ex-partner’s approach).

Being able to foster a positive and respectful working relationship as parents will help children to adapt to separation and ensure that they feel secure. It also reduces the stress of routine communications between parents and should hopefully ensure that both parents can be actively involved in their children’s lives. Good Divorce Week and Resolution membership reminds practitioners to promote “A Better Way” to deal with family separation.

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