Parental separation by itself is not considered predictive of poor outcomes in children. Parental conflict has been identified as a key variable in producing negative outcomes in children.
In a recent survey by Resolution, the family law organisation, 78% of people said that putting children’s interests first would be their most important consideration in a divorce. Despite this the same survey found that 81% believe that children end up being the main casualty of divorce and 40% believe that divorce can never be without conflict. These findings indicate that people have good intentions to prioritise the well-being of children during separation, but this can be derailed by exposure to the adversarial nature of courts and a lack of awareness of non-court based options such as mediation.
Mediation puts children’s interests at the heart of the process and helps parents work together to agree their plans for co-parenting, this will include arrangements such as:
– where the children live, who they spend time with
– information and decision sharing
– financial maintenance
– communication between parents
In reality separation or divorce is only the start of the process. When parents part it begins a series of events that require thoughtful and considered decisions about their children’s future – all too often these are not considered until after the divorce and become points of conflict on an ongoing basis.
It soon becomes starkly evident how many decisions parents need to make on a daily basis and how much coordination and cooperation it takes to make the new family engine run smoothly. At Alchemy we encourage parents to work with us to create a parenting plan. A parenting plan is a valuable document that helps parents anticipate the decisions they must make about important aspects of their children’s lives and thus reduce the potential for conflict and disagreement.