According to my family and friends my first husband and I were a rarity, we remained friends and as part of each others families, long after we broke up and remained so until his death in 2005. To this day we are still in contact with his family.
When my first husband and I decided to separate in 1992 we decided between ourselves to co-parent, we did not need a court order, we never did, in fact we never went near a court until we decided to dissolve the marriage officially 10 years later and then it was just a matter of sorting out the paperwork!
Ironic then that I should spend the last six years in and out of court fighting to see my granddaughter, which is now resolved thanks to some common sense and the ability to communicate, rather than lining the legal professions pockets, although for the first three years they did earn silk-lined pockets, but once I got the hang of things, and although not legally trained, I did do a lot of research and reading, I then represented myself, with much legal consternation from my paid advisers!
Having witnessed the court battles between my grandchild’s parents first hand, it astounded me the levels each of them would go to, in order to gain residency, it was all-out war, the child was the casualty and other family members were the collateral damage of that war.
(Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect, neither is my family, whose is?)
Part of the resolution of the problem was that time was running out for the parents in that they both enjoyed free legal help under the then legal aid system, and so the court room became their battle ground or playground depending on your point of view. The justice review and legal aid reform put paid to that!
The point is, when you are the parents of the child, you should be teaching conflict resolution, not using weapons of mass destruction against each other, you should want to Co- parent your child to the best of your abilities, to give your child the best of all possible starts, you have already stalled the growth tank by separating and therefore left the child wondering what they did wrong?
Ask a friend whose parents split up when they were young, how they felt growing up as a child in the middle of conflict, you will get some very differing answers, from :
- “it was great I could play one-off against the other”
- ” I always got what I wanted”
- ” it was just very sad, mum/dad cried a lot”
- “they were both just so angry all the time
I would be a liar if I told you I never argued with my ex, we argued a lot, that’s why we separated, we still argued occasionally after we split but we were never vindictive or spiteful or hateful and we enjoyed some fabulous family occasions and always spent Christmases together, we did it because we loved and still love our children, I am so glad we did! Particularly given that he died so suddenly, and without warning.
None of us can predict the future we can only learn from the past, If you are a parent reading this think of the child first and then think of the person you once loved enough to create that child, don’t let your child become a casualty of your war, spare a thought for the grandparents and other family members do you really want to be responsible for all that collateral damage?
I believe in equal rights for all, particularly the family as a whole, no parent is more deserving than another! Children need both parents, and both sides of their family to grow and develop into happy healthy people!
Please sign the petition so that children may enjoy both parents and their families.
If you need any help with conflict resolution get in touch.