‘Taking the Fight out of Family Separation: Finding Safe and Supportive Solutions for All’: Film & Summary
On 23rd March 2022 Family Law in Partnership and Kingsley Napley sponsored a landmark event on behalf of the Family Solutions Group, ‘Taking the Fight out of Family Separation: Finding Safe and Supportive Solutions for All’.
For those of you who were unable to attend, we have set out a link to the film taken of the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iGwmsrd7Ik
It was a packed event with the Attorney General, Suella Braverman, and Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division attending and speaking.
The key issues emerging from the debate which took place included:
- The introduction of no fault divorce is welcome but it will have little impact on disputes between parents; this alone will not change the experience of children whose parents have conflicted separations.
- The President spoke of the ‘Holy Grail’ of engaging with parents before they turn to the Family Court, to provide early information and support following separation.
- We heard of the toll on mental health that our current system takes on parents, with family separation having a strong link to suicide ideation.
- We also heard about the needs and rights of children, the poor outcomes for children’s mental health from conflicted parental separation, but also the benefits to children when they are given a voice and not marginalised by adult agendas.
- Changing the language in both the family justice system and in society at large is essential, so family disputes are no longer framed as adversarial.
- The Family Solutions Group highlighted that no government department takes responsibility for the 280,000 children who experience parental separation each year. The needs and rights of these children fall between the cracks of multiple Government departments. Clear coordination and oversight by government is urgently needed.
The Attorney General confirmed that, while the MOJ currently leads on parental separation, a cross-government approach is needed if there is to be meaningful reform. Pressed by the moderator, Paddy O’Connell from BBC Broadcasting House, she promised to convene an event to focus on better coordination by government for family separation.
The discussion concluded with a short film made by a teenager of children’s quotes from families where parents have separated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jYYCExGezQ
Family Law in Partnership are proud to have sponsored this important event on behalf of the Family Solutions Group. We hope that it will lead to worthwhile change for the benefit of separating families.
Further information on the Family Solutions Group can be found here: