Why are 27% of children involved in parents’ disputes
A recent Resolution survey has been looking in to the wide-ranging impact of divorce and separation on young people. The survey found that alarmingly 65% of children surveyed felt their GCSE’s were affected and almost a quarter said that they struggled to complete homework, essays or assignments. 15% also said that they had to move Schools which may have had a knock on effect on their exam results. Although perhaps more worryingly 28% of children said they started to eat less with 13% experimenting with drugs as a result of their parents’ separation.
Separation and divorce can be a challenging and stressful time for adults. However, despite parents’ best efforts children will also be going through the same, and this is often overlooked. Some parents attempt to use the children to their benefit. For example, to secure the family home and/or request increased maintenance payments, during proceedings. In fact 27% of children survived said their parents tried to involve them in the disputes, with 32% feeling that one parent was trying to turn them against the other.
The Children and Families Act 2014 has revamped the Court’s approach to children in an attempt to remove the terms ‘residence’ and ‘contact’, which children may have found upsetting. Children are naturally concerned about the arrangements for them; where they will be living and when they see their other parent. There is now also a greater emphasis on mediation with this now being a statutory obligation rather than a recommendation, in an attempt to avoid Court proceedings all together.
Obviously children are going to be upset when their parents separate and there will be change to their routines in spite of any attempts to keep the status quo. It is also important to remember all of the people who were part of the children’s lives before the separation; the survey states 19% of the children had completely lost touch with one or more grandparent. To see more of the Resolution survey please us the following link:
The Resolution survey show us the importance of trying to resolving disputes, particularly where they relate to children, by agreement wherever possible, rather than heading straight to Court. This view is supported by the recent legislation
All of the Family Team at Hine Solicitors are members of Resolution and we strive to help our clients negotiate and reach agreements wherever possible. Court should always be an absolute last resort. Should you wish to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact our Family Team.