A recent study involving 6,000 children carried out by University College London found that children between the ages of 7 and 14 are 16% more likely to experience emotional and behavioural difficulties compared with children whose parents remain together.
For parents who are separating, the widely publicised news stories surrounding these findings are likely to have caused some degree of concern regarding the impact separation may have on their children.
Interesting however, the study also found that children between 3 and 7 were not affected and it is thought that this is because younger children are less able to pick up on their parents’ stress and any negativity within the family. These findings highlight the importance of not involving children in any disputes. If you find yourself in this situation, we recommend adopting the following 3 principles:
• Refrain from sharing inappropriate information with your children;
• Avoid speaking negatively about your former partner in front of, or to, the children; and
• Adopt a co-parenting approach – work together and making joint decisions that are for the benefit of the children.
We recognise that this may feel like an impossible task if your relationship breakdown is not amicable, but this evidence suggests that it is in the best interests of your children not to involve them, which is undoubtedly supported by the Family Court. If you believe your former partner is not following these principles and your children are being negatively impacted, we recommend that you take independent legal advice.
If you need advice as a result of a separation and have any concerns, please contact a member of our specialist family team on 0345 5214545.
Written by Natalie Suret, Solicitor
Telephone 01293 603674