Children in Breakdown of Relationship
In our society, people generally think about children in three ways;
- As chattels / “they belong to me” – “I have invested all I have in them. I see in them my hope for the future.”
- As weapons – “if he thinks he is going to see them whenever he wants, he is crazy.” “If I am paying for them, I am going to decide who visits the house and when I see the kids.”
- As young people sometimes afraid about the future, divided in loyalty, having feelings and needs independent from either of you but totally dependent on both of you.
Most of us have a combination of these feelings and sorting out which of them is valid is very difficult. The reality is that your children need both of you and you both need the children. You are the only parents they will ever have and you will need to co-operate in the future as parents. We can help you negotiate an agreement that provides for a parenting role for both parents in the interests of the children.
Obviously, neither of you will want to put the children at a disadvantage. You both want the best for them. However, if the children are viewed as bargaining tools or ignored during the negotiations, then there is a danger of harming them.
Mediation in relation to Children issues may sometimes be a quick and cost effective means of progress, as opposed to formal correspondence via solicitors .Such letters can quickly become acrimonious, judgmental even deeply distressing. Joint agreement on pressing, day to day issues, and /or contact arrangements, can quickly be made in a joint mediation session, leading to far less stress, reduced legal cost, and indeed, less worry for the children themselves.
However, as in making peace, it takes two parties to mediate and often formal legal advice from a solicitor may be essential. Sometimes it can be very easy to enjoy the comfort of opinion, without the discomfort of reasoned, professional, legal advice. The consequences of not having, or indeed of not taking, appropriate legal advice, may be severe. Experienced solicitors can offer an objective view on how to achieve the best outcome. The choice on how you choose to progress matters is however, always yours.
The important thing to remember is that you will always be parents to your children even though you decide to no longer be husband and wife or be parents living together.
You are both parents, and whilst you may no longer be able to share the day-to-day responsibility of caring for the children, you can share the week-to-week responsibility of looking after them and making joint parental decisions.
How you work out the parenting issues will ultimately have significant impact on the emotional life of your children and their future relationship with you as they mature.