Driving home yesterday I heard the new Manic Street Preachers song on the radio. Now, I am not a huge fan but and the song itself was just OK but it was the title however, that really struck me “It’s not war, just the end of love”.
This was very apt when only last week I am sure you will have seen the comments all over the media by Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division of the High Court, that couples do their children enormous harm in the battlefield of separation and that well educated or intelligent parents are “particular adept”. I will not repeat here what was said by Sir Nicholas Wall save to say that his comments really reflected what I and I am sure most other family lawyers experience on a weekly basis. It can be very difficult being witness to the war over children that sometimes wages when a relationship breaks down, one that if the parents themselves were watching from a distance would probably be devastated at the effects of their own behaviour.
Sir Nicholas makes the case for a non adversarial court system in the family justice system and I would hope that this is welcomed by all. Certainly, I am aware through my involvement in Resolution, the national group of family lawyers, there is immense support given for separating parents and a considerable amount of information on “Parenting after Parting” can be found on their website www.resolution.org.
What is clear is that it is always difficult when parents have to separate and very often, over time, arrangements settle down into some kind of routine. An acknowledgment by both parents of the roles they play in their children’s lives can go a long way to accepting that those roles should not need to alter, simply because the parents are not living together any more, indeed, the separation makes the parents no less important in the eyes of their children.
The end of love does not automatically mean that there has to be a fight, there is very often a way that issues can be resolved. As Sir Nicholas observes, "Generally speaking, children do better in every way if they have two parents in their lives, and the children of separated families are no exception."
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