Reframing the “D” word

Reframing the “D” word

Separation /Divorce is a difficult time. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has a view. You may feel stuck in a tunnel and really quite bleak. Where children are involved however it is vitally important that you stress to them the positives of the situation and present the change in a positive light.

Some common “do’s” and “don’t” when helping your children through the process


Try to speak to your children together

Reassure them it isn’t their fault

Speak positively about the other parent and encourage others not to speak negatively in your children’s presence

If you are moving house reassure them re school and friends – try to minimise the change and disruption

Take specialist advice from a family law professional

Speak to your children’s school if your children are struggling/upset – most schools have resources to help children adjusting to new family structures

Consider family mediation if you are finding it difficult making arrangements direct with your ex-partner – family mediators are specifically trained in helping you to reach practical arrangements for the care of your children and also helping you to work upon retaining/re-establishing a dialogue as parents.


Argue in front of your children – research commonly shows that parental conflict is more damaging than actual separation. How you as parents behave will determine how your children cope with the change.

Slate your ex-partner in front of your children

Forget your children will have their own feelings about the change  – allow them time to express in an age appropriate way how they feel about the other parent

Stop the children seeing your ex –partner unless you have serious welfare /child protection concerns

Get into a war over money and maintenance and use as a bargaining tool re contact/how often your children will stay overnight with your ex-partner

For more information on options upon family breakdown and a free initial telephone consultation contact Sally or Laura on or call now on 0113 357 1315

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Laura Clapton
Director, Family Solicitor & Mediator
0113 887 4672
0786 023 2975

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Marie Walsh
Director, Employment Solicitor & Mediator
0113 887 4670
07736 252 681

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