The Family Law Organisation, Resolution, undertook a Survey of 514 young people who have experienced divorce, in order to establish if they believe parents should stay together for the sake of the children.
This was subsequently reported in the Guardian Newspaper.
The Survey found that 82% of young people aged between 14 and 22 who have experienced family break ups, would prefer their parents to divorce if they are unhappy.
It was found that young people understood it was often for the best and commented “it was better to divorce than stay together for another few years and divorce on bad terms”.
The survey showed that children want greater involvement in decisions made during the divorce process. More than 60% of young people felt their parents had not ensured they were part of the decision making process in their separation or divorce.
It was also found that half of those interviewed wanted to be involved in the decision of who they should live with and where they would live. However, the Survey also showed that a significant 88% of young people did not want to feel they had to choose between parents.
When asked what young people would have liked to have changed about the divorce, 31% said that they would have preferred their parents not to criticise each other in front of them.
Interestingly, the Survey highlighted that being exposed to conflict is most damaging for children, not the divorce itself. This is supported by Denise Knowles, a Counsellor, who confirmed that it is thought parental conflict is most damaging to a child.
Therefore, if parents act responsibly and shelter their children from conflicts, it will make the process a lot easier.
Sadly, the research suggested that young people’s relationships with their father after divorced deteriorated, whereas the relationships with their mother improved.
The survey highlights the importance of parents sensitively discussing their relationship breakdown with the children, whilst also ensuring the children are not exposed to any conflict between them.
Our lawyers are very experienced in matters concerning children and should you require advice in relation to any concerns you might have with how best to protect your children following a relationship breakdown, please contact our offices on 01323 727321 to arrange an appointment.
Please note that the family department offer a free initial 30 minute interview to provide general advice and guidance in relation to your matter.