Parenting after parting courses from Resolution

Resolution run a course called Parenting After Parting for parents who are going to divorce or separate to help them deal better with parenting matters during and after the divorce.

The course covers the following areas:

  • What to say to children about divorce or separation
  • How children are effected when parents split up
  • Ways to help children cope with the divorce
  • Information on placing your child first in the process
  • How to establish a parenting relationship after divorce

The courses are running in a number of locations across England including:

Cambridge

Kent

London

Newcastle

There is more information on the Resolution website here:

http://www.resolution.org.uk/parentevents/

Fathers matter – Why a victory for fathers is a victory for children

Interesting article over at the Daily Telegraph about fathers and children post divorce. Although Cristina Odone is not divorced herself she does sum up her view well in her closing paragraph.

“…Divorce is ugly, and its scars long-lasting. As the child of divorced parents, it took me until I was in my 40s to overcome my phobia of marriage: I knew all too well the pain of break-up. But if children continue to have access to both parents – even if this has to be legally enforced – they have a chance of surviving the emotional upheaval. The government finally agrees….”

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/cristinaodone/100134859/victory-for-divorced-dads-is-a-victory-for-children/

What Divorce and Marriage Trends Tell Us.

To many marriage should still form the bedrock of a traditional family life and therefore in turn is key to a stable and settled society. Marriage in the UK is often seen as an institution that is in crisis following the decline of widespread religious followings and the liberalisation of divorce laws and procedures, and as a result the topic has become a political fighting ground. But what do the statistics actually tell us about how our society is changing.

Marriage

The headline figure that most people tend to look at when reviewing marriage statistics is how many ‘x’ thousand of individuals have married in the last year.  The latest figures we have at our disposal from the Office for National Statistics for England and Wales are for the year 2009 and these show that marriages fell by 1,500 on the previous year to 231,490 – a drop of 0.64%.   However as the pool of available and prospective marriage candidates will never be the same from one year to the next the more telling metric to analyze is the proportion of unmarried individuals that wed in that period.  Interestingly, this figure was down more significantly, in line with the longer term trends, with drops of 2.29% and 2.04% for men and women respectively.  What’s more, this rate is now at its lowest level on record for both sexes.

For fans of marriage this does seem to create rather a gloomy picture as it not only tells us that the sheer number of marriages taking place is dropping but as populations increase that the pool of unmarried people is, by extension, increasing (as the slightly lower number of marriages accounts for an even lower proportion of unmarried couples).

That said, by looking at some of the other clues that are available there might be solace on offer. The same set of data also indicates that the average age at which people choose to marry (both in general and for the first time) has risen and so it may actually be inferred from the data taken as a whole that people are taking the sanctity of marriage more seriously and waiting until they are more certain about the commitment before getting wed. The fact that the number of cohabiting couples has also risen may additionally imply that the delay is in part a result of a contentedness to cohabit, possible under the misconception that this affords the couple some legal status, such as the mythical common-law marriage.

Divorce

Since 2004, both the total number of couples divorcing and, more significantly, the percentage of married couples that that accounts for, has been steadily falling.  In 2009 the total number of divorces hit its lowest point since 1973 at 113,949, but crucially this cannot be solely attributed to a fall in the number of people getting or being married in the first place; as a proportion of those married the total only accounted for 10.5% – a 0.7 (or 6.25%) reduction on the previous year and the lowest proportion since 1977.  So, in short, despite the fact that fewer people are getting married, even fewer and now divorcing.

The problem in assessing what this is telling us about the longer term trends in society is that, to a greater or lesser extent these figures may be affected by legacy issues from years or decades ago. As seen in the divorce boom of the 70s and early 80s, where on average the length of a marriage which would lead to divorce hovered around 10 to 12 years, the easing of the barriers to divorce allowed a rush of divorces for couples that may have taken the action in previous decades had the options been there.

The average length of a marriage which leads to divorce now in the UK has stabilised around 11.5 years so those couples who are divorcing now may again on the whole be telling us more about those legacy issues than the strength of marriages commencing now. Taking into account the falling divorce rate (per married couple), along with the aforementioned slight decline in marriage rates and the increasing average age of marrying individuals, it may add support to the inference that the commitment of marriage is being taken more seriously and individuals are waiting until there are ready and mature enough to marry; perhaps hinting that new marriages taking place now will ultimately lead to even lower divorce rates in the future.

These figures are only scratching the surface and to get a better understanding of the longer term trends we may need to analyse separately the outcomes of marriages which began across successive years, not to mention across the different nations of the UK.

Whatever, the future holds, there is no doubt that marriage and divorce remain contentious and political issues. However they are also major transitional life events for those involved at a personal level, and when divorce is on the horizon individuals should always seek reliable advice such as Divorce Solicitors London.

© Stuart Mitchell 2011