“Guidance for Parents – from the Family Courts on Helping Your Children”

Mother and Child on Jetty(1)

During my years of practice as a family and divorce solicitor in Bath and Bristol, I have seen many parents whose greatest concern was how a divorce would affect their children and who wanted direction on how to minimise that affect.

Christina McGhee, internationally acclaimed divorce coach and parent educator writes – “Divorce does not doom children to years of emotional problems or lifelong dysfunction. Exposure to constant parental conflict and unhealthy family situations, however, can significantly impact children’s lives in a negative way.”

Family Courts in Bath, Bristol and elsewhere in the South West of England are busy determining parental conflict and unhealthy family situations. They daily see the significant and negative impact on children’s brought about by their parents.

The following guidance, recently issued on behalf of all Family Judges and Family Magistrates who conduct family proceedings in the South West of England, is designed to help minimise that impact by giving parents direction on how they can help their children

Your children need to:

  • Have explained to them by you calmly and fairly what is happening to their family so that they understand what is happening
  • Know that they are not being separated from either of you and that you will encourage each other to have a loving and open relationship with them
  • Be able to show love, affection and respect for both of you without being torn between you

Your children need your help by:

  • Listening to what they have to say or how they feel about your separation and about any arrangements which you are making or have made.
  • Talking to the other parent openly, honestly and respectfully.
  • Drawing up a plan as to how you will sort out arrangements and share responsibility for them.
  • Not talking about difficult issues concerning them in front of them.

Your children should never:

  • Blame themselves for the breakup of your relationship with each other.
  • Hear you criticise each other or anyone else involved.
  • Be turned against the other parent because they think that is what you want.

Article by Richard Sharp

Richard is dedicated to helping clients avoid the trauma of prolonged conflict by finding solutions that benefit them and their families. He works to resolve complex financial situations, protect assets acquired over lifetimes, prioritise the needs of children, and reach outcomes that are fair for all parties.