Thursday, 8 June 2017

Call for divorcing parents to take a new approach

Divorcing parents are being urged to put their children first to help them adapt to a new-look family structure.

Nadia Davis is the family law partner at Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Euston Way, Telford, and she is a qualified collaborative lawyer – a legal expert taking a different approach to divorce.

“Previous cases have shown that children do better when their parents are able to remain emotionally strong and supportive during divorce cases. And parents who co-parent in a respectful manner help their children to cope better with this stressful time in a family’s life.”

Ms Davis said the collaborative divorce process encouraged couples and their solicitors to sign an agreement so show they were committed to finding the best solutions through negotiation, rather than through court proceedings.

The agreement prevents the lawyers involved from representing their client in court if the collaborative process breaks down, so everyone is absolutely committed to making it work.

“In a divorce that’s full of conflict, children become increasingly anxious, and the stress can actually lead to depression or troubled behaviour. And taking each other to court can make the process worse, rather than reducing the conflict.

“It’s the same for parents who stay in a turbulent marriage for the sake of the children – you could be creating more stress for the children than if you had a healthy divorce. To help children deal with a dramatic life transition, it’s important that they feel supported and emotionally secure through the difficult times.”

Ms Davis said the collaborative approach gave families the chance to instigate a kinder, gentler and healthier divorce which would be less complicated for everyone involved.

“And because the collaborative process is not driven by a timetable imposed by a court, the whole situation can be built around each family’s individual timetable and priorities. Sometimes only a handful of meeting may be required to resolve the case, so it’s often a much quicker route to take.

“At such a troubling time, it’s understandable that emotions are running high, but as parents, if you can take a sensible and conciliatory tone in your negotiations, your children will benefit all the more.”