2013: A New Year's Resolution - Reach a Resolution!

Christmas ought to have been a time for enjoying festivities with your family. 

However, behind many closed doors Christmas can be a difficult time for those who are in the process of considering the future of their relationship / contemplating divorce or victims of domestic abuse. 

For children living in a home where there is adult conflict, Christmas may not be a happy environment. 

Research evidence has consistently found that poorly resolved parental conflict impacts negatively on children’s development, leading to issues in their emotional and behavioural development and academic achievement.  The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships has recently been awarded a grant by the Department for Education to undertake a trial on this subject.  The study “Parents in Conflict: Putting Children First”, is investigating different ways to help separated/divorced parents who are in severe and enduring conflict and whose children are suffering in the process. 

This is not the only recent government move to encourage those in the midst of a relationship breakdown to reach a resolution without the need to resort to Court proceedings.  For instance, when couple’s separate their financial matters must be considered.  If conflict arises and if disputes cannot be resolved between themselves then parties are now required (pursuant to the Family Procedure Rules 2010) to attempt mediation prior to Court proceedings (unless there are certain exceptional circumstances in a case such as domestic abuse). Mediators are trained to assist separating couples in making informed choices to resolve disputes and reach a resolution by agreement.

Whatever difficulties may have been encountered during 2012, it is of utmost importance to move forward into 2013 positively.  Should any of the subjects raised in my article strike a chord with you or someone you know, you may wish to visit me at Hughes Paddison or speak to a colleague in our experienced Family Team of Lawyers.  We are the biggest law firm in Gloucestershire with expertise in all areas of family law to include divorce, cohabitation matters, civil marriages, Children Act matters and domestic violence.