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Sunday, July 31st, 2016
In 1994 President Bill Clinton formed Parent’s Day to be held on the last Sunday in July each year to celebrate both parents’ role in parenting and to recognise the importance of good parenting for our children.
Parents’ Day is designed to make us think about the responsibilities of parenting and of the importance of doing it well and mindfully for the future well being of our children throughout their childhood and beyond. Negative experiences in childhood can have lifelong adverse effects on people whereas positive experiences at this crucial stage equip people with resilience and inner strength to cope with life’s ups and downs.
Parenting can be very difficult for those who are going through the stress of relationship breakdown. Emotions are often very high as this is one of the most stressful life events and the whole family has to go through the transition. It is likely that your children’s feelings about what’s happening will be very different from your own. It is vital that you as a parent are able to keep your feelings about splitting up separate from your children’s feelings. You and your partner will probably have different feelings too. When a relationship breaks down, often one partner has begun to emotionally distance themselves before initiating the separation. This situation leaves one parent further along the emotional process than the other at the beginning. This can be very difficult. Regardless of which position you’re in, understanding the process and how you, your children and the other parent are managing their emotions can be helpful.
During this difficult time
- Take care of yourself. Eat, sleep and exercise regularly
- Stay mindful of your feelings about the situation
- Access support to help you manage your feelings in a mindful way
- Make planned rather than reactive choices
- Place the needs of your children at the forefront of your decision making
- Consider mediation to help you and your partner discuss the arrangements for your children in a calm and safe environment.
The key things about mediation
- The mediator is neutral and provides a safe environment for you to talk as adults.
- The mediator is highly trained and able to give legal information to help you both in making decisions.
- The mediation process is confidential and privileged (which means it can’t be shown to a court without both of you agreeing)
- The mediator does not make any decisions for you but helps you to make decisions together focussing on the needs and best interests of your children.
Cullimore Dutton Solicitors Ltd provides a mediation service in the heart of Chester. Our family mediator is Susan Alexander who is a fully accredited family mediator and qualified to carry out direct consultation with children. Susan is efficient and hardworking yet approachable and supportive and takes pride in helping parents and their children through the difficult transition to co-parenting through and beyond separation and divorce.
Susan can be contacted by email on email@example.com or by phone on 01244 356789.
Wednesday, January 6th, 2016
Divorce Down As Pre Nups Rise
The first working day in January is commonly known as Divorce Day, when Family Lawyers receive more enquiries than at any other time of the year, but they are more likely to be faced with ‘silver splitters’ than young couples these days.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that despite the recent rise in the number of marriages, the divorce rates have fallen to their lowest level for 40 years: 114,720 couples divorced in England and Wales in 2013, down almost three per cent on the previous year. The statistics also show that marriages are more likely to survive the ‘seven year itch’ with divorce rates at the eight year mark nudging down by one per cent.
But for older people, it’s a different picture. Over 60,000 people who divorced in England and Wales in 2013 were over 50, a rise of 11 per cent.
Alongside the slow-down in divorce for younger couples, the Law Society has reported a rise in enquiries for pre-nuptial agreements, with commentators suggesting it’s being driven by parents who are investing in housing to enable their children to get on the property ladder, but wishing to protect family money against any future marriage breakdown.
Head of Cullimore Dutton’s Family Department Jackie Rawcliffe explains: “Older couples may have less to worry about in relation to the impact of divorce on children, but dividing finances will probably cause more concern, as they are more likely to be asset-rich and with valuable pensions.”
Recent figures from the family charity Resolution show that the majority of young people felt that it was better their parents divorced than stayed together unhappily, but they also wanted to be part of the decision-making process and have their views taken into account.
Jackie adds: “It’s a hard decision at any time of the year and at any stage of marriage, but perhaps the most important thing for any couple is to consider children first and to avoid finger pointing as they go through the process. Collaboration and mediation can help to focus on achieving an outcome through positive negotiation. It may be necessary to set out unreasonable behaviour in the divorce petition, but when it comes to dividing up the family finances, the Courts are generally not interested in the cause of the breakdown of the marriage, or a spouse’s behaviour.”