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Report shows that children of divorcing couples suffer at exam time

A recent report from Resolution, the 6,500 strong association of family lawyers, has highlighted that the stress of divorce can lead to children of separating couples achieving poor exam results.

The survey, involving 500 children and young people aged between 14 and 22, found that almost two thirds of those whose parents divorced said that the break-up affected their exams. In the UK around 100,000 under 16s experienced the emotional turmoil of divorcing parents each year.

The research also highlighted that children experienced pressure to choose a side alongside witnessing their parents’ own emotional stress and arguments. In addition, the children surveyed reported becoming isolated from friends and their wider support network in circumstances when the separation necessitated a move of either home and/or school at a key stage in their education.

During the course of a collaborative divorce we recently advised on, both parents agreed that they would delay their separation until their teenaged son had completed his G.C.S.E exams to avoid causing additional upset and pressure.

Sadly, this won’t be possible in the majority of divorces but as a member of Resolution and a collaborative specialist, couples are always advised to work together to reach the best possible outcome both for them and their children in these difficult circumstances.

Whenever practically possible, postponing the sale of a property during a separation until a child has completed important exams is also recommended to avoid the detrimental impact this is likely to have on exam performance.

In many situations this won’t be possible, unfortunately, but it is the role of a Resolution solicitor to suggest alternatives for separating couples to consider to help minimise the emotional impact on children.

The increased use of social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook also came out in the report as causing considerable upset for children as photos or references to new partners pop up in tweets and newsfeeds.

Divorce and separation is an emotional time for all involved, not least the children and also wider family members who also have to adjust to the significant change. What is positive in these circumstances is that separating couples now have access to more out of court options than previously and with the guidance of the right solicitor, can get through the difficult period with the best outcome possible for the whole family.

Linder Myers’ team of family specialists have extensive experience of helping couples reach an amicable conclusion to the end of their marriage to avoid costly, and lengthy, court proceedings. Providing specialist expertise in out of court methods including collaborative law and arbitration, our team of experts will tailor the appropriate approach to individual circumstances.

Find out more about our Family department Read ‘A complete legal guide to divorce and separation’

Written by Sarah McCarthy. Find out more about Sarah here. 

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