You forget just how exhausting the summer holidays can be. When they are over it’s a relief to be able to stop trying to keep the children occupied for every minute of every day. No more “I’m bored”, or other people’s children or the constant bickering with your other half. With the holiday over it makes all the difference to have some routine back in your life. The purchase of school kit and the start of school term impose a kind of order. Once the children are at school you have a mental debrief and consider what it all means….
Holidays throw up all sorts of issues. It isn’t until you get home, have some quiet time, that you pay any attention to the nagging thoughts that just won’t go away. Do I really want to do this again next year or any other year? And then there’s Christmas. As family lawyers, we see a sharp rise in divorce enquiries and separation clients every September, after the summer holidays. Making a decision to separate is hard.. You know that you are not really happy in your relationship but what do you do? The question is do I make a decision now, stay or go. Clearly it’s not that simple. As so many people are happy to remind us there are consequences! Is the time to make that decision that you have been putting off? Read on.
If you thinking about divorce or separation you have to take into account all factors. It has to be an informed decision. Take legal advice is one part of your decision-making process but an important one. And above all, remember the children.
In the mix that is resentment, anger, sadness and grief that the marriage has broken it is easy to lose sight of the interests of children. All too often, youngsters, unwillingly, find themselves at the centre of separation disputes and this can have a damaging effect on their emotional wellbeing and general development not just in the immediate aftermath of divorce but also long term. If you have children with your partner, try to keep them at the forefront of your mind during your split. By putting your children’s interests ahead of your own and your partner’s you can protect them, not entirely but to a greater extent. If you do this it can also help your spouse to see things from a more balanced perspective. Whatever you do, in your heart of hearts you know that trying to score points against your partner through your children doesn’t fix anything. The negative impact of this has consequences for all concerned.
However, don’t make the mistake of staying together in an unhappy relationship for the sake of the children. Children are surprisingly perceptive and won’t thank you for your self sacrifice in later life. They will pick up on the underlying tension between you and your spouse and whilst they may not feel able to tell you about it, it will be affecting them in other ways. It is better for children to live in a calm and happy environment than in an environment filled with anger and resentment. So, instead of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, talk to your partner and work out a way that allows the children to be happy and secure. This can often mean that you promote the benefit of two homes to the children. That said, children are resilient and in some ways, more resilient than adults and they can cope with major upheavals with relative ease. Don’t under-estimate their ability to deal with or accept the fact divorces and separations are part and parcel of their world.
Making the right decision for you is probably the most important thing you can do. The decision you make now will affect all future decisions and if it is the right one for you then long term it will have a much better impact on your life and on your children’s lives.
If you are thinking of separating and are concerned about the impact it will have on the children, please ring us on 020 8899 6620. We will be happy to have a chat with you and guide you through the maze.