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Changing divorce law could protect more children

Downs Solicitors has shared findings that link divorce and children’s mental health and wellbeing. The firm is calling for a change in the law which could settle conflict earlier on and protect more children in the process.

The statistics are from a new poll by YouGov and Family Justice Campaigners, Resolution, as part of Good Divorce Week.

The findings reveal 87% of those surveyed were affected negatively by their own parents’ divorce as children. In the age group 14-22 year olds, of those who have experienced family breakups, 82% would prefer their parents to part if they are unhappy.

Nearly one fifth (19%) agreed that they sometimes felt like it was their fault, whilst 65% said that their GCSE exam results were affected and 44% say A-levels suffered. Almost a quarter (24%) said that they struggled to complete homework, essays or assignments. More than one in 10 (11%) said they found themselves getting into more trouble at school, college or university. Almost 1 in 5 (19%) saying that they completely lost contact with one or more grandparents.

Richard Middlehurst, Family Law Partner at Downs Solicitors, said: “We have been looking at the effects of divorce for a long time and we urge the Government to review the laws to bring them up to date. As the law currently stands, a divorce will only be granted in certain circumstances, such as adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, or, where you and your spouse have lived apart for a continuous period of two years, and consent to the divorce, or five years or more without consent.

“As you can imagine, where there is simply no fault, just that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, children can often be caught up in lengthy legal battles, as well as a war zone between their parents. Many people could be stuck in no-fault marriage breakdowns and that many children could be caught in between. It’s time the law was changed and perhaps more children could be protected.”

Good Divorce Week runs from 26-30 November 2018.

Posted on 28/11/2018 by Richard Middlehurst

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