12 August 2013
Separating? Don’t forget how your children feel
An article in the Daily Mail online published earlier today highlights the difficulties that separating couples face in communicating with each other following their split. In particular, it focuses on the emotional and psychological impact and potential harm that can affect children whose parents separate and then continue a “war of words”.
The article refers to a new book by Dr Edward Farber and the approach of the author to such conflicts. Lynlee Rampton, the main subject of the article, is reported to be following a “business model” advocated by Dr Farber to enable her and her ex-husband to discuss arrangements for their Children. The approach seems to be working for this particular family. The article goes on to cite other cases where difficulties have arisen, the problems they have caused and other suggested approaches.
As ever, there is no “one size fits all” solution. As a family lawyer who has seen more than my fair share of Family Breakdown and the inevitable difficulties that it creates, all I can ever advise separating parents is to remain focussed on the needs of their children, whatever other issues remain. It is, of course, easy for me to say that, but it is inevitably the best advice. I fully understand that it is never easy to discuss things with someone who was once a trusted partner but who now, may be unrecognisable. However, it is very rare that a child’s life is better without the ability to maintain a relationship with both parents. It takes a lot of effort on all sides but it is well worth it in the long run.
Separation is never easy and almost always painful. Any adult going through it should do their utmost to ensure that their pain is not passed on to children who are nearly always the innocent victims. It is not a sign of weakness to maintain a working relationship with your ex. Indeed it can be the stepping stone to ensuring that a bad situation does not become catastrophic for all concerned. How you communicate is up to you. Dr Farber’s model is just one method and, in my experience, anything that works should be commended.
By Family Law Solicitor Ed Kitchen