Parenting after Divorce

When two people get married so much preparation goes in to thinking about the wedding, the vows you make to one another and your future life together. You can spend hours agonising over the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses and what the cake is going to look like.

If you then go on to have a baby, you may spend hours reading parenting books and pregnancy guides. Then when the baby arrives you can spend an extraordinary amount of time frantically googling “help on getting the baby to sleep” and “how much milk should my baby be drinking.”

So if you end up in the unfortunate position of going through a divorce why should this be any different?

Going through a divorce or separation can feel like you are on an emotional roller-coaster, some days are better than others but at times it can feel all-consuming and like there is no end in sight.  You try to imagine what life is going to look like without your partner by your side.

I have heard many clients over the years refer to divorce as form of bereavement and like any situation where you lose someone you once loved it can take time to come to terms with that kind of loss. In some instances you may be juggling emotions of guilt, regret, fear and anger.

So in the midst of trying to work out where you are going to live, how you are going to manage the family finances, how you are going to deal with the emotional upheaval of a break up, you also have little people looking to you for love and reassurance. They too have to imagine a new life where Mum and Dad are not living together and they have to adjust to new way of life.

Whilst most parents try their very best to protect their children as much as possible it is not always easy, Sometimes emotions can run fraught and people can lose sight of the impact of divorce on their children.

In some instances children can get caught up in the middle of arguments, one parent may use the children as a weapon against the other and withhold contact to “punish” the other parent.

Research has shown that divorce can impact the emotional wellbeing of children but it has also shown that where parental conflict is minimised it will have the least impact.

When you might first be considering divorce some people may be reluctant to approach a solicitor. They may feel like they can handle things themselves and they don’t need help from a solicitor, or they may feel like a solicitor is going to make things worse or send correspondence which is going to rile the other party.

At Taylor Walton solicitors, we are committed to a constructive approach. We are not here to act as a vessel for one party to communicate their anger towards their ex- partner. We are experienced lawyers, we are here to help you plan out your new life following separation. We can help put you in touch with other professionals such as mediators, therapists and life coaches if you feel you need that kind of support.

Equally, we can be there to advise you of your rights and responsibilities and help protect yours and your children’s’ interests when you need us to. This may mean that mediation and other forms of collaboration are not suitable and an application to the Court to determine an issue is necessary.

Recent statistics published by Cafcass have demonstrated a fall in the number of private applications made to the Court in respect of children. In July 2021 a total of 3,774 new cases were issued at Court. This involved 5588 children. This is a fall on last year’s figures which were some 16% higher. Could this decrease in numbers be as a result of more parents being more prepared on how to deal with separation and having more support and resources at their fingertips to help find an alternative to litigation? Are more parents able to cooperate without the intervention of the Court? Only time will tell whether this is a long term trend.

If you require advice and assistance regarding child arrangements, please contact Anna Patsalides, Solicitor, (anna.patsalides@taylorwalton.co.uk) or Ben Twitchen, Partner, (Ben.Twitchen@taylorwalton.co.uk) 01582 714609.