August’s long school holiday signals rising family tensions, with many couples across the country finding summer the final straw for their strained relationships.
Staff at National Family Mediation say after deciding to divorce, the key to a positive future for everyone in the family is making an active choice to maintain a dialogue over things that matter, like your children, rather than entering ‘fight’ mode.
“Once the decision is taken to move on and separate, the hearts and flowers of the happy relationship have long withered and died, says Jane Robey, NFM’s Chief Executive.
“But maintaining a relationship with your ex –a very different kind of relationship – is in everyone’s interests, especially the children’s.
“The temptation is to raise hackles and wage war, but it’s those couples who stand back from the bitterness they feel, and instead focus on the future importance of co-parenting, whose families will flourish for years to come.
“Parenting arrangements need to change as children grow up, so staying in touch to adapt agreements is vital. Most people keep in touch with their dentist or GP and, when things go wrong at home, call in a plumber or builder. It’s not fun to have to call on them, but it’s important to maintain those links.
“The same applies to post-divorce parenting because at the heart of everything is the most important relationship of all: the one between your children and both parents.
“It’s a tough change of gear, but learning to re-engineer your relationship with your ex can be the key to a positive future for everyone in the family.”
National Family Mediation’s expert professionals help separating couples agree settlements on property, finance and parenting issues without the need for a courtroom battle. They achieve full agreement in over 80 per cent of cases.
People who want to find out more about how family mediation can help them after divorce or separation can call 0300 4000 636 or visit www.nfm.org.uk.