When separating one of the main concerns for parents can be the impact any separation will have on their children. It is of course an extremely challenging time and any parent will tell you that looking after children is hard enough; learning to parent separately is a whole new challenge. You will suddenly face situations that you may have never anticipated. There is no tried and tested method as to how to help children adjust and indeed every family situation is different but there are steps that you can take to help your children through this difficult transition.
Of course managing the legal system is only one small part for parents separating, but it can soon become a very difficult aspect, particularly if there are disagreements when it comes to parenting decisions.
It can be a good idea to obtain some advice early on. Speaking with an experienced solicitor at the outset can help focus your mind on what is important to you and your family, and can help prevent more difficult protracted proceedings later.
One thing which all professionals agree upon is that it is inherently better for children when parents are able to continue to make parenting decisions together post separation, and in fact the Court imposes a ‘No Order Principle’ in children proceedings essentially meaning that the court will only make an order relating to children if it is necessary.
However at a time when emotions are running very high, it can be particularly difficult to keep lines of communication open, and to make such huge parenting decisions such as where the children will live, or how they will be introduced to new partners, spend the holidays etc. Seeking advice from an experienced solicitor can help alleviate a very stressful situation. As members of Resolution our solicitors are dedicated to resolving matters with a non-confrontational approach and encourage solutions that consider the whole needs of the family – and in particular the best interests of the children.
There are unlimited resources to try to assist parents and other family members navigate the new family dynamic such as Voices in the Middle, CAFCASS and Gingerbread to name a few. I also recommend ‘Parenting apart’ by Christina McGhee for a practical guide with lots of valuable information and advice.
This series of articles will focus on the legal process, and how it can help parents and children of separated families. In the coming weeks we will explore practical guides to what the law says, court applications, alternatives to court and financial implications.
If you would like to arrange a confidential appointment with one of our experienced solicitors to discuss any of the issues raised please contact Stephanie Layton on 0191 232 8345.