In an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 25 February 2012 Eva Cox explores the issue of “Is there ever a good divorce?” (SRC)
Cox says “My parents divorced and, many years later so did I. My parents’ divorce was somewhat venomous and I hated it, so I tried to keep mine reasonably civil.”
In response to the view that children suffer as a result of divorce, Cox says “Yes, there are significantly more children of divorced parents who show problems, but figures show they are still a minority – most children, whether in divorced or intact families, are doing as well as one another.”
She also makes the point that “Pressure to stay together may result in more dysfunctional children in intact families. Why assume the separation is the cause of later problems?”
Cox then concludes that “Many families need help – parenting is often tough and so are adult relationships. The focus should be on the problems, not on whether the parents cohabit, because children deserve parents who can meet their needs, whether under one roof or two.”
In my view it is possible that when parents separate, children’s lives and sense of security are disrupted. On the other hand, if the home is plagued with constant fights, conflict and unhappiness, then arguably this security that home can offer children is not there in the first place. I agree with Cox’s view that pressure to stay together could in some circumstances perpetuate dysfunction in a family.
If you are concerned about how your child is coping with difficulties such as divorce or conflict between you and your partner, you may consider if your child would benefit from counselling and many schools offer a counselling program in house. Alternately the National Children & Youth Law Centre (NCYLC) where I used to work prior to working at Armstrong Legal, offers free legal advice to children, for example if children have any questions about the legal processes under the Family Law Act.
One way in which conflict can be minimised between parties, which in turn may reduce stress on children, is through amiable ways of settling disputes outside of Court such as collaborative law. All family lawyers at Armstrong Legal are collaboratively trained. Please see the link below to my previous block which outlines the collaborative law process.
If you have any further questions in relation to divorce or separation please do not hesitate to contact us at Armstrong Legal on 9261 4555.