To mark the launch of Resolution’s Dispute Resolution Week 2015, the family law organisation commissioned a poll of young people aged 14-22 with experience of parental separation that has revealed fresh insights about the levels of involvement and amount of information that children would like during their parents’ divorce. Around eight out of ten poll respondents would prefer their parents to split up if they are unhappy, rather than stay together.
One child said “Don’t stay together for a child’s sake, better to divorce than stay together for another few years and divorce on bad terms.” Sadly, almost a third (62%) of children surveyed disagreed that their parents had made sure they were part of the decision-making process about their separation or divorce.
Laura Naser, a family lawyer in the Penningtons Manches Guildford office said “Parents should not struggle through their separation alone. There is plenty of help out there from places such as Resolution and specialist support groups. Where separation is proving particularly difficult, seeking the advice of a specialist family solicitor can be the most proactive route. I not only talk my clients through the legal implications of their separation, I also help them to formulate a plan, for example, for sharing the care of their children, with their children’s best interests at the forefront of our minds. Families may have physically separated but they have a long lasting unity by virtue of their children. Separating with dignity and respect for each other and their children is of the upmost importance.”
Taking the advice of a solicitor does not mean parents will go to court to resolve their disputes. There are many alternative avenues for resolving family issues, such as mediation. Alternative dispute resolution is not just about staying out of court, it retains autonomy for parents and helps set them on the path to co-parenting going forwards.
Family Dispute Resolution Week is Resolution's biggest public-facing campaign of the year and the campaign has a number of different elements, including videos, infographics, press and social media activity. The findings of Resolution’s poll can be read here.