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Entries in divorce (5)


Children want more involvement in divorce decisions

A study conducted in London on behalf of the English family law organisation Resolution and supported by Consensus Collaboration Scotland revealed clear views of children relating to their involvement in divorce related decisions.

Half of young people indicated that they did not have any say as to which parent they would live with or where they would live following their parents’ separation or divorce.

88% say it is important to make sure children do not feel like they have to choose between their parents.

62% of children and young people polled disagreed with the statement that their parents made sure they were part of the decision-making process about their separation or divorce.

The publicity for this study focussed on the fact that 82% of young people said that it was better that their parents divorced than stayed together unhappily, but an equally important finding was that 31% of young people said they would have liked their parents not to be horrible about each other to them, and 30% said they would have liked their parents to understand what it felt like to be in the middle of the process. A worrying 19% said that they sometimes felt that the divorce was their fault.

Jo Edwards the chair of Resolution said: “Being exposed to conflict and uncertainty about the future are what’s most damaging for children, not the fact of divorce itself. This means it is essential that parents act responsibly, to shelter their children from adult disagreements and take appropriate action to communicate with their children throughout this process,and make them feel involved in key decisions, such as where they will live after the divorce.

The study involved interviews of 514 young people aged 14 – 22 with experience of parental divorce or separation from a long term cohabiting relationship over a year ago, plus five longer qualitative interviews.

Resolution has launched a parenting charter setting out what children should expect during divorce:

  • be at the centre of any decisions made about their lives
  • feel and be loved and cared for by both parents
  • know and have contact with both sides of their families, including any siblings who may not live with them, as long as they are safe
  • a childhood, including freedom from the pressures of adult concerns such as financial worries

Who is happiest after divorce?

Prof GeorgellisMen feel ‘slightly happier’ after divorce, according to Kingston University project

Women become much more happy and satisfied with their lives after their divorces come through, according to researchers at London's Kingston University.

The study published in the journal Economica shows that women are significantly more content than usual for up to five years following the end of their marriages, even more so than their own average or baseline level of happiness throughout their lives.

Researchers surveyed 10,000 people in the UK between the ages of 16 and 60, questioning them regularly over two decades. Participants were asked to rate their own happiness before and after major milestones in their lives. Although men also felt slightly happier after receiving the decree absolute, the increase was much less marked.

Professor Yannis Georgellis, one of the researchers said: "In the study we took into account the fact that divorce can sometimes have a negative financial impact on women, but despite that it still makes them much happier than men. One possible explanation could be that women who enter into an unhappy marriage feel much more liberated after divorce than their male counterparts."

The study examined a psychological process called 'adaptation' – the way in which individuals adjust to new circumstances. It also revealed that people can very quickly bounce back from other life events normally perceived as traumatic, such as being widowed, although not, it seems, unemployment.


Radio programmes explore divorce issues

For the next three weeks on Radio 4, the 'One to One' interviewer's microphone belongs to journalist and broadcaster Yasmin Alibhai-Brown who - for personal reasons - has chosen to explore the impact of divorce on families.

Yasmin divorced over twenty years ago, and - although happily re-married - often contemplates the fall-out of divorce, and the resulting emotional ripples which inevitably reach further than the separating couple. In these programmes she's hearing the stories of a grandparent, a parent and a young person who have all lived through a family break-up,

In the first programme, she speaks to Jane, a grandparent who hasn't seen her 11 year old granddaughter for four years. When her son divorced he maintained a relationship with his ex-wife which allowed contact with his daughter - Jane's granddaughter. But eventually that contact was withdrawn, resulting in what Jane describes as a living bereavement.Jane has now set up a support group for grandparents who find themselves in the same situation ) and runs a blog.

In Scotland, grandparents can contact Grandparents Apart for support and information.


The right kind of divorce portal

Anne DickNewly open, a web site that brings together Scottish divorce information in a one-stop shop.

Therightkindofdivorce.com has been put together two family lawyers, Ann Dick and Professor Alan Susskind and is due to be available from October 6th.

Alan Susskind commented to the Sunday Herald:

"The majority of people are under the impression that they need to go through court to separate property, possessions and access to children; however that is not the case.  One of the main aims of the portal is to make couples aware that their difficulties are best settled appropriate to their circumstances, and in a manner which benefits the whole family."

Ann Dick's book "Breaking Up Without Falling Apart" has been available as a download for some time.


Wrong Divorce, Hungarian style

Families Need Fathers has a very active online forum for members, including lots of fascinating discussion about a very wide range of issues concerning child contact and other related issues.  It's a great way to exlore tricky issues and ask questions, especially if you aren't able to attend local group meetings.

It sometimes also includes some fascinating snapshots of family life and this one caught my eye yesterday:

"My Hungarian wife has been through the Central Budapest Court for uncontested divorce. Unfortunately the names on all forms are my father's name (he's happily married to my mother) and although I have had the names changed, the final order grants divorce to my wife and my father."

If you want to have the chance to take part in this forum, join Families Need Fathers  Membership costs £39 per year (£35 by direct debt, £18 for unwaged).  As well as the forum, you get Mckenzie magazine and discounts on other publications.