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Prioritising Children in a Divorce

November 22 2018

Divorce rates in the UK are forever fluctuating. Confirmed 2017 figures show that among opposite-sex married couples, there were 8.4 divorces per 1,000 married couples. This figure is the lowest it has been since 1973, according to The Telegraph.

However, for many marriages and civil partnerships, a divorce or separation could still become a mutually agreed decision. For whatever reason, if there are children or dependents who are a part or product of your partnership, it is vitally important that they are taken into consideration of every decision that can affect them. As we are providers of legal services for family matters in Leeds and Harrogate, Grahame Stowe Bateson have offered some suggestions for prioritising children in a divorce:

Acknowledge Your Children’s Presence:

Disagreements are expected throughout a pending divorce. Whilst these are likely to occur, it is important to acknowledge the reactions of your children by:

·        Maintaining respect for your partner/ex in the company of your children. Especially if they are young or more impressionable, bad habits can be learned by the way you or your partner/ex treat one another.

·        Saving important discussions for a private setting where they will not be affected. If you are aware that things could get heated, this could be a better option for you.

Keep Your Children as a Priority:

During a divorce or separation, it can be easy to become selfish and not take the needs of others into consideration. Whilst you may need to take time to consider your own mental wellbeing, if you have a dependent as part of your family, making sure that they are dealing with the changes is more important. Disruptions can be hard to deal with for young children, so where possible, try to maintain their routines. Children of varying ages also react to situations in different ways; where a young child may be quiet about their emotions, an adolescent who is more aware of the situation could react angrily. Reassurance in these situations will be vital.

Consider Your Own Emotions:

Whilst it is important not to be selfish, your own mental wellbeing will have a knock-on effect on your children. Routines and habits tend to change when experiencing stress and this will subsequently affect the routine of your children which can be disruptive. Additionally, experiencing the stress of a divorce can lead to losing patience, which is needed when looking after dependants; during a divorce or separation, children need as much calm and stability as possible.

These are just a few suggestions to help you deal with looking after your children or dependants whilst experiencing a difficult divorce. If you feel you are truly struggling, we would recommend consulting a counsellor to assist you.

When it comes to legally activating a divorce, as previously mentioned, Grahame Stowe Bateson have a team of solicitors based in Leeds and Harrogate who are experienced in family law. We can provide legal advice with regards to divorce/separation, residence of children orders, finances and much more.

To get in touch with our legal team, you can find our contact details below:

Leeds City Centre - 0113 246 8163
Leeds Bramley - 0113 255 8666
Leeds Middleton - 0113 276 0044
Harrogate - 01423 562121


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