Children whose parents divorce are more likely to be prescribed Ritalin, according to a study by the University of Alberta. Ritalin is commonly used for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and the research therefore suggests that children of divorced parents are more likely to suffer from the disorder, although there are other interpretations, including that doctors are more inclined to prescribe the drug when they know that the child's parents are divorced. I don't want to get into that debate, but the study does seem to confirm what we already know: some children can suffer behaviour and health problems when their parents separate or divorce. A number of things can be done to reduce these problems, but from a purely legal point of view there are at least two obvious steps:
1. For the parents to remain on as good terms as possible with one another. This is where the approach taken by solicitors is so important. An aggressive approach is obviously likely to cause positions to become even more entrenched. Consider therefore instructing a solicitor who is a member of one of the panels, or a member of Resolution. Such solicitors should adopt a constructive and non-confrontational approach, putting the best interests of the children first.
2. For all arrangements regarding the children, particularly contact, to be agreed. Unfortunately, this isn't always possible, but every reasonable effort should be made. Again, the approach of the solicitors instructed will be important, but in the end they are limited by their client's instructions, so the parents must keep asking themselves: 'am I taking this position in the best interests of my child, or because of my feelings towards the other parent?' Consideration should also be given to the use of mediation.