Remembrance Sunday events were held today all over the country to honour the UK’s war dead. For some, with past or present personal experience of lost friends or colleagues, it will have been particularly poignant. Outside Bath Abbey, the personal message on a wooded cross placed in the grass, reminded me that the death of a loved one can affect a family for years.
Divorce can feel like a death. The death of promises given, death of a familiar way of life, death of a parental role, death of a friendship and friends and for some even death of the family. But does divorce have to be like this? What might help to keep the family alive and minimise the impact on the current and future families?
In my work as a specialist family lawyer in Bath and Bristol, I see and help separating and divorcing couples who are able to end their marriage and maintain their family. How they achieve that was in part explained by a client during the past week. He wrote –
“My children are getting settled in to their new life, and when I see them we have good times. I’m sure that part of this is because my wife and I are still able to work together in their best interests. I now recognise that the legal process has a huge role to play in limiting and not escalating the damage that has already occurred in the relationship between ex-husbands and wives, and consequently has a huge bearing on the lives of any children. And I think that your approach, in this regard, was exemplary. So on behalf of my own children – thank you ”
There may not be an alternative to divorce but the way you divorce and react to it may be your choice. By exercising that choice, families can and do survive divorce