When children are involved there is no such thing as a “good divorce”

A recent study by the relationship support charity Relate has shown that there can be no such thing as a ‘good’ divorce when there are children involved.

The study that examined nearly 1000 families found that 58 percent of the separated parents did not believe that a ‘good’ separation was possible when children are involved. Further, over half of the parents acknowledged that regardless of their best efforts to minimise the pain of the divorce on their children, that the experience of seperation had a negative impact on their children.

In terms of the length of the divorce process, 40 percent of the separated parents who were polled said that their separation took less than a year, 43 percent said it took one to four years and 10 percent said that it took 5 years or more. As more than half of the separated parents surveyed admitted that the separation had a negative impact on their children, it is therefore clear that finding ways of reducing the impact of a separation is vital.

This recent survey, has highlighted how drawn out the majority of separations actually are with only 40 percent of those families polled having completed the divorce process in under a year.

The charity has also disclosed a vast increase in couples booking appointments to see counsellors in the wake of the Christmas holiday. This finding therefore goes someway to substantiate claims that there is a rise in divorce enquiries the day after the New Year, a day that has become known as ‘Divorce Day’.

Our conclusion – whilst perhaps there is no great surprise in hearing from Relate that children suffer in any divorce [or any relationship breakdown between parents for that matter], we think it is yet more evidence of the important role played by family mediators. The whole family mediation process works particularly well when children are involved. It allows their parents to emphasise that despite spitting up, they can still work together – a reassurance that children so desperately need.

Click here for more about how to use family mediation for disputes involving children

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