02nd Dec 2020

Supporting your Children Through Divorce

Supporting Your Children Through Divorce


It’s day three of Resolution’s Good Divorce Week 2020.

Children are particularly vulnerable to the impact of divorce and separation. Often their voices can get lost in the midst of the upset and frustration of divorce and separation.

So, how can you help your children through divorce and separation in the best possible shape?

Recently, FLiP’s in house counsellor, Jo Harrison, put together her top tips on how to get your children through the divorce and separation process. Her tips included:

  • Caring for your own well- being;
  • Making sure that you avoid conflict during handovers;
  • Be curious about your children’s responses to the divorce or separation;
  • Let your children express their feelings about the separation;
  • Delay introducing new partners if possible;
  • Work at your newly separated relationship with your ex;
  • Keep the children informed of developments, if appropriate;
  • Don’t make negative comments about your ex in front of the children.

At Family Law in Partnership Jo Harrison, Ruth Smallacombe and Dominic Raeside all offer family consultancy services on an individual, couple or family basis. They cover the child related, emotional and psychological aspects of divorce and separation including:

  • How to tell the children about the end of the relationship in a positive and helpful way;
  • How to stage the separation itself;
  • How to find better ways of communicating, in particular over the crucial early stages whilst habits are formed;
  • Setting up structures and arrangements that are likely to work well for the children;
  • Managing any particular crisis well (eg. new adult relationships) that may arise.

Moves are underway in the family justice system to make sure that the voices of children over the age of 10 are routinely heard and taken into account in family court proceedings. A subgroup of The Family Solutions Group (led by Mr Justice Cobb) published a report “What about me? – Reframing Support for Families following Parental Separation” (12th November 2020) setting out these latest recommendations. It remains to be seen how widely and successfully these recommendations will be adopted. You can find out more about the report here.

Meet our family consultancy team:

Jo Harrison has a depth and breadth of expertise in working with clients who are separating or divorcing and is sensitive to the impact of relationship breakdown and how it can affect individuals and families. As a relationship counsellor, Jo fully appreciates the emotional upheaval and difficulties of a separation and as a former family lawyer she understands the particular pressures of going through the legal process.

Ruth Smallacombe is an accredited mediator, counsellor, practice consultant and trainer of mediators, lawyers and therapists. Ruth has a wealth of over 20 years practice in family, mental health and human relations, in both the private and public sectors.

Dominic Raeside is our Head of Mediation. His practice is focused on helping couples reach a consensus about their future as it relates to their children, finances and housing. Dominic mediates both domestic and cross border family disputes including international child abduction, access and custody cases.

If you would like to speak with one of our family consultants please contact Wendy Hoare of FLiP E: wh@flip.co.uk to set up an appointment.