Good Divorce Week: What you need to know
Good Divorce Week takes place annually on the last week in November, this year being 29 Nov – 3rd Dec. It is organised by Resolution (first for family law), a membership organisation of family lawyers committed to a constructive and non-confrontational approach to family law.
The theme of Good Divorce Week this year is Parenting Through Separation. We know that the pandemic has put huge pressure on families and even more so on those who are separating. Too often people don’t know where to turn for help and aren’t supported to put their children first. Resolution is working to address that by providing free resources and support for parents and to raise awareness of what’s out there. Resolution has made available a free Parenting Through Separation Guide, which can be downloaded here.
- Two thirds of separated parents surveyed ahead of this year’s Good Divorce Week said they lacked help or advice about how to put their children first when they split from their partner.
- New research by family justice organisation Resolution lays bare the struggles of separated parents, particularly during the pandemic. Resolution commissioned an exclusive poll of separated parents, carried out by YouGov.
- One third of separated or divorced parents said they found it harder to keep child contact arrangements in place since pandemic restrictions such as lockdowns began. Nearly three in 10 said that they have felt more stress/tension in their relationship with their ex-partner since the pandemic started.
- The latest official figures show nearly 90,000 children were involved in private law applications – legal processes to determine matters like who the child lives with (in England and Wales) in the last 12 months. That’s the highest figure ever recorded and an increase of over 6% on the previous year.
- With nearly a quarter of a million people getting divorced each year, the need for information and support is clear, yet separated parents reported a distinct absence of guidance in this area.
A new guide from Resolution, Parenting Through Separation, aims to fill that gap. It offers information on separation and divorce, and advice and practical tips on ensuring family break-up has as little impact on children as possible.
The new poll underlines the need for resources like this. Parents reported a range of behavioural impacts that separation had on their children.
- One in 10 said their children showed violent outbursts and one in seven said their children displayed anti-social behaviour since breaking up with their ex-partner.
- A quarter of parents said their children showed a loss of confidence and a similar proportion said their children had suffered from depression due to family breakdown.
- Nearly two fifths of parents surveyed said they turned to friends and family for advice during their separation. A third of parents engaged a solicitor or legal professional and the vast majority of them reported that doing so was an effective method in helping to get them the advice they needed.
Laura Clapton, Director of Consilia Legal said:
“Relationship breakdown is a difficult and inevitably stressful time for parents but imagine being a child whose parents are separating. Children’s voices can be lost in the process of separation and their wellbeing adversely affected by the conflict they witness between their parents. This year our awareness raising week is aimed at helping parents to be child centred in their approach to separation. Resolution have produced a free Parenting Through Separation Guide to help parents navigate their way through their separation whilst making sure their children always come first. I would urge any parent going through a break up to read the guide and as always seek professional legal advice.”