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  • 13 Mar 2024

    The benefit to children of having a divorce resolved amicably

    When divorcing, which is a very difficult decision to make especially if there are children involved, it is essential that separating couples prioritise the well-being of the children, as divorce proceedings can be especially challenging and emotional for them. 


    The introduction of the No-Fault Divorce on 6 April 2022 aimed to reduce hostility, acrimony and emotional distress that was often the case as part of the traditional Fault-Based divorce proceedings. The requirement to assign fault has now been removed and it is hoped that separating couples can approach divorce applications in a conciliatory manner, thereby minimising conflict, and the impact this has on children by creating an environment that is more beneficial for effective co-parenting. 

    Under the Fault-Based divorce proceedings, separating couples were required to assign blame and unfortunately, children may have heard their parents speak negatively and derogatively of each other. 

    As a result of the No-Fault divorce, separating couples can reduce the conflict associated with divorce proceedings and thereby protect children’s mental health. By doing this, it is hoped that separating couples are more likely to co-operate constructively in determining child arrangements which will provide stable and consistent living arrangements for the children. 

    The No-Fault divorce can impact how separating couples approach the discussions regarding child arrangements as they may be more inclined to discuss child arrangements openly. This change in attitude may result in parenting plans being agreed which will prioritise the child’s wellbeing, taking into consideration the child’s routines and developmental needs. Discussions regarding child arrangements as part of a no-fault divorce can contribute to the child’s emotional security and a smoother transition to the new family structure. 

    The success of no-fault divorce in promoting child focused outcomes does rely heavily on the willingness of both parents to co-operate. If one parent does not commit to open discussions, issues can arise in determining child arrangements. In high conflict situations, the absence of the element of blame, may not mitigate the emotional upheaval a child may experience.   

    After a divorce is finalised, most children will split their time between two separate households under a parenting plan that has been reached between the parents or alternatively under a Child Arrangements Order. These types of situations often require a great deal of communication between the parents. Developing healthy co-parenting and an amicable relationship with your ex-partner sets a great example for a child. By showcasing your own conflict resolution and communication skills, you will be assisting your child in improving their own. Conflict-free exchanges between parents can also offer reassurance to a child who is struggling and in need of support during a time of significant change and can help the child see that although change can sometimes be scary, it is not necessarily all bad.

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