Family law and the impact on children

As family lawyers we regularly see the impact on children of experiencing a long and difficult family breakdown.

A study recently undertaken by centre of excellence the Tavistock Clinic in London has demonstrated the advantages of therapeutic intervention in family cases where parents have been unable to reach agreement about the arrangements for their children on separation.

One hundred separated couples who had been involved in entrenched litigation over a period of years were offered therapeutic work over 18 months. The provision of specific family therapy and parenting education resulted in parents reporting less anger towards their ex-partner, improved their ability to co-parent, reduced stress levels and led to measurable improvements in their children’s emotional well-being.

Statistics recently released show that 62,456 new family cases started in our courts in England and Wales between October and December 2015 (a 6 per cent increase year-on-year). With court resources increasingly stretched, couples who are separating and who are struggling to agree arrangements will find it more difficult, more costly, and more emotionally draining and it will take longer to resolve these issues through the court process.  This will inevitably have an impact on the children affected.

Serious thought should therefore be given to other processes – such as mediation, or engaging with a therapeutic process – so that the family’s scarce resources – financial and emotional – can be directed to finding solutions. At Bretherton Law we will help you navigate the options to find the right way forward for you and your family.

For information about divorce or child arrangements following divorce please contact our senior family law solicitor Heidi Fleming.