Child-Focused SeparationOn February 12, 2022 by Melissa Castillo
Empathy is a key skill for family law surrey bc. We must understand the feelings of our clients and recognize how difficult it can be for them to live through uncertainty. And we must consider the impact any decision may have on the children involved in a relationship. Our experience, objectivity, and perspective help parents navigate divorce while keeping the best interests of their children in mind.
Withers is very fortunate to have the opportunity to get input and training from experts (such a Louise Wigan and Suzy Powers as well as Dr. Emma Loveridge, Christina McGhee, and Dr. Emma Loveridge) about the emotional ramifications and consequences of divorce. Last year, I had the privilege of attending a seminar with Christina McGhee that focused on the children of divorcing couples. (I share some of the lessons I learned in my blog link). My blog mentions Split as a powerful film that gave me insight into the feelings of children about their parents’ divorce.
Christina’s strong approach and confidence that parents can and should work together, despite any differences in their relationships, inspired me. These are some ways to apply Christina’s advice when talking to children about divorcing.
1. Try to reach an agreement with your children about what you want them to know, and how the arrangements will work in the short term.
2. Talk to your children together if you can do so amicably.
3. Discuss all the things that will remain the same: school, friends, and clubs. Then talk about how to deal with any changes.
4. Keep your focus on the practical. They don’t need to know all the reasons you are splitting.
5. Ask them about their concerns and listen to what they have to say.
6. Do not make promises that you cannot keep. This means that you shouldn’t plan too far into the future. It is hard to predict how you will feel in a few months so plan slowly.
7. You can take your cues from the children about when they want you to talk.
8. You must be careful with how you speak to and about your ex-partner, especially in front of your children. They should see that you are respectful of the other parent.
9. You can prepare for issues ahead of time and tell your children how you will deal with them. If you are attending school events separately, let them know. Let them know who you prefer to talk to.
10. You can take care of your emotional well-being and get the support and advice you need to be able to see enough for your children.
People can learn skills during divorce, especially in communication, that will help them to be successful in their future relationships with their children. Although the post-divorce family may be different, it can still be strong, loving, and effective.
We are a champion for better solutions to divorcing couples
This week is Good Divorce Week, a campaign that Resolution launched today. While many would argue that there is no good divorce, that is an accurate comment. However, many of us believe that there are better ways to divorce. It is not designed to guide couples going through a divorce, but rather to provide information and guidance for separated couples on their options and how they can deal with what is often a difficult and emotional issue. There is a better way.
Good Divorce Week follows the publication of the “What about me?” Reframing Support For Families Following Parental Separation report. This report, which was compiled by the Family Solutions Group, a subgroup under the Private Law Working Group, calls for a fundamental change in how family disputes (including divorce) are handled. It includes core recommendations for enhanced training of mediators and solicitors to help separate couples. Also, it recommends that they include other professionals like therapists in the problem-solving process. This resonates with me as a mediator, but more so because of the new service we created this year, the Withers Separation Model. It was created to help couples navigate separation and divorce in a way that minimizes conflict and focuses instead on the solutions that will benefit the whole family.
It is important to choose a family lawyer who is committed to following a constructive and non-confrontational approach to resolving family problems (while keeping the best interests of any child involved in the process). This approach is adopted by Resolution members.