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Helping Your Children Through a Divorce

Unfortunately the most common area of Family Law dealt with by the Courts relates to children and contact between parents.

Complicated cases such as Child Abduction and Wardship are dealt with the by the High Court.

Of course you can seek help from your local Social Services branch if you are having trouble coping or need advice on childcare matters.

Your GP will also be able to refer you to specialist local help such as the Health Visitor Service or local Child & Family Consultation Service.

Talk to our experts

Berkeley Solicitors can assist. Adrian is a member of the Law Society’s Family Panel and can assist will all types of Family Law problems.

Call him on 07000 ANYCLAIM or 07000 269 252.

Mediation

Berkeley Solicitors are firmly of the view that mediation works. We especially recommend the service for child related disputes.

Some Advice to help you

You will help your child to cope by reassuring them, loving them and maintaining their security. By minimising conflict and managing your own feelings you will be better able to cope with your child’s feelings.

Reassure the children that you both still love them.

Keep conflict as far away from the children as you can. It is not divorce itself that causes children’s emotional damage but the conflict, bitterness and arguments that so often accompany it.

Don’t encourage the children to take sides.

Get some support for yourself from another adult or other adults as soon as possible – someone that you feel you can ring at 2am if necessary or who will be able to come round at short notice.

Take advantage of any support that may be available.

Encourage family and friends to concentrate on the children rather than getting caught up in the dispute between the parents. Children benefit enormously from neutral support from an adult who is not directly involved.

Do not assume that because your children are very small, they are unaware that something is wrong. Children pick up clues and sense atmosphere from infancy onwards.

Resist the temptation to derive your main support from your children – they will of course be a comfort, but they will not be strong enough to bear the weight of your emotions, however old they are.

Fight the urge to confide in your children or detail the other parent’s failures and wrongdoings. Whatever you may think of your partner, they are still the child’s parent.

Allow the children to talk about the parent who has gone or is going.

Try to respond to the children’s questions as honestly as you can, bearing in mind that there is a limit to the detail that they need or that is appropriate for them to have.

Accept that they will be angry and at times ‘difficult’. They do not do this deliberately to annoy you, they are simply trying to manage a painful situation.

If you can, plan periods when you can be alone with your own feelings, so that you can give vent to your own distress in private. Sometimes knowing that you have a ‘breather’ can help you hold on to tears and rage that may otherwise spill out over the children.

It always helps to keep a written record of any problems you may encounter. This will help with counselling, therapy or the Court.

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