Many commentators highlighted the fact that “a good divorce” is an exaggerated term. Family practitioners are aware of this, as they are at the core of the divorce process.
There are better ways to divorce and, as Good Divorce Week came to an end last Friday, I was reflecting upon the wealth of advice and guidance available to separated couples and their families.
No one solution fits all.
Your divorce and your family are different. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions to marital breakup. This is why it is important to seek advice and get the best possible help. Communication is essential – with your children and your future ex-spouse, as well as with your divorce lawyer surrey bc. While mediation and other forms of dispute resolution may be the best option for many couples, there will always be cases when trust is broken irreparably. These cases require a different approach. Your lawyer’s expertise and experience will be crucial in each case.
There are also some positive developments. Next week will see the Government close its consultation on “No-Fault Divorce”. This signals that reforms to simplify the legal process of divorce is possible. Although divorce can be life-altering, a good divorce could mean that a relationship’s breakdown is not always the end.
It is important to take control of your situation and make use of all the resources and information available. Although it might seem paradoxical to respond to the “Good Divorce” theme, there are real steps you can take that will make your divorce as smooth and positive as possible.
You can view a video on the Withers’ website in which Claire Blakemore, one of my partners, and Deborah Fisher, a former client discuss strategies to regain control and get the best outcome for you and your children. Read our Good Divorce Week blogs to learn more about key issues such as: minimizing divorce’s impact on children; ending the cycle of divorce arguments; what schools should know and how they can help you with your divorce; how to divide time between children after separation; and how to deal with conflict in more difficult situations.
Divorce: Time with children
You’ve decided to separate. It is possible that, despite your best intentions, conflict surfaces when it comes time to agree on contact arrangements for your children.
It is important to limit children’s exposure to conflict and divorce. Here are five tips:
1. This has many benefits. This sends your children a message that you care about protecting their relationship with each parent. How could you better illustrate this than by planning a year of contact with their dad or mum?
This sends a message to your partner that they take time with the children seriously. The basis on which a partner sees the children changes when they leave the home. A calendar that is set up a year ahead of time shows commitment to spending quality time with the children. It also helps build goodwill, which can help in discussions about more emotive dates. This brings us to number 2.
2. You can be proactive about anticipating the emotional complexities that may arise on holidays, feast days, and anniversaries. Conversations about family events or parties that are held a few months ahead of time will be less emotional than conversations with people who have weeks to go. It’s best to start this type of conversation as soon as possible.
3. Keep it civil when you meet. This is especially important if you are going through divorce proceedings. Children, especially young ones, can be extremely sensitive to the tone of their conversations. Christina McGhee’s book1 explains how children view themselves in binary terms. They see themselves as one-half with one parent and one-half with the other. Children are criticized by their parents as well as the parent they criticize. It is better to find other ways to help the children transition between you. For example, one parent could drop the children off at school and have the other pick them up. This can avoid any awkward scenes.
4. Allow your child to spend time with the other parent. When parents divorce, your child will feel divided about loyalty. This can continue long after the divorce is over. They may not want to talk about how they feel about the divorce, even if they enjoy spending time with one parent. It is a great gift for your child to allow them to spend time with the other parent. This will also help you in your relationship with them. It will be something they will remember for many years. They will also continue to view you as someone they can talk to about important issues in their lives, such as friendship and school.
5. Try to see the big picture. Even if you have ended any divorce proceedings or other separation issues, your ex-partner will still be there as the other parent to your children. Accept the fact that your ex-partner will continue to be in your life as your other parent, and work hard to maintain a healthy relationship for the benefit of your children.