Most couples find the process of divorce difficult and stressful, no matter how amicable the separation. As well as feelings of disappointment and uncertainty, there’s the added complication of dividing the ‘assets’ of financial value such as houses, cars and furniture. Not surprisingly, if there are children involved, the situation can become even more complex.
We weren’t surprised by this week’s announcement that children’s exam results often suffer as a result of family breakdown. 65% of GCSE children and 44% of A-level students reported that divorce had an adverse impact on their results. Moving house as a result of a parental split affected their studies and pupils said they found it harder to focus on homework and coursework.
Perhaps even more worryingly, children of divorcees are more likely to play truant and experiment with drugs and alcohol.
Kim Young, family law specialist at Mark Reynolds Solicitors, said: “Couples often begin their journey of separation with feelings of goodwill and a commitment to remain calm and reasonable. However, all too often the situation is allowed to deteriorate, causing unnecessary upset – and potentially long-lasting damage – to their children.
“Most couples want what is best for their children, and genuinely try to manage the divorce in a way that minimises the impact on the rest of the family. However, all too often the process becomes unnecessarily complicated and the pressure begins to mount. There will often be certain ‘triggers’ which one partner feels strongly about. If these ‘triggers’ are not handled with care they can easily escalate, having a negative impact on the rest of the divorce negotiations.”
Kim Young says family lawyers have a responsibility to ensure the process of divorce is no more complex than it needs to be.
“Couples need to play their part in trying to put themselves in each other’s shoes to ensure they are fair and reasonable in terms of asset sharing and care of their children. A good lawyer will help to resolve disputes quickly and amicably. We find one of the most valuable things we can do is help the couple to maintain strong lines of positive communication throughout the process.”
Mark Reynolds Solicitors are specialists in family law. For further information or advice, please get in touch.