Archive for March, 2010

The effect of divorce on men

Much is written about the effect of divorce on women, but much less about men.  Men who have been left feel depressed and isolated.  Generally men feel that they have no one to talk to, see much less of their children than they did before and have to find money that they worry that they haven’t got.  Women seem more able to engage the help of friends, family and professional support.  The men who seek professional support do much better than those who carry on with a public face that belies how terrible they feel inside.  It is easy to marginalise how men feel and imagine that they are doing fine when in fact, much of the time they are not.

Resolution Family Law Conference

Just had an interesting day in Manchester at the Resolution Family Law Solicitors conference giving a talk to Family Lawyers on the emotional impact of divorce.  Really, the message was for lawyers to be mindful that clients aren’t just looking for legal advice but a steer on the emotional impact of their separation.  It is important for lawyers to be mindful that a client who instructs them, does not just have legal issues to deal with and a real service will be done, if it is recognised that clients should be referred to therapists or counsellors who can help them process this bereavement. This will make the legal process less painful for them to deal with and produce better outcomes.  How is a person to make well informed decisions when riding an emotional roller coaster.

Calling a Stepmother mummy

In a  recent Australian case a mother went to Court  to prevent her child calling her Step Mother mummy D.  The Court ruled that it would not prevent the child calling her stepmother what she wanted.  It is very sad that this case went to court and is another example of parents using their child as a pawn in the battle between them.  It is really important to take into account the other parent’s feelings over things like this, which will reduce the hostility between the parents and therefore the situation will be much more pleasant for the child.  It is also good that a child feels comfortable and close to a step parent. It is a far better situation than a child dreading being around their step parent when they have to be.

Celebrating Divorce – I don’t think so.

Just preparing for the ‘divorce show tomorrow in London.  It will be interesting to see what sort of response it gets from people and from the media.  There has been much in the media lately of ‘celebrating divorce’ with cakes, and lists and parties.  I think it is difficult to see how a major life event, that is on a par with bereavement can feel like a celebration.  It is a loss and like all losses has to be processed in order to make sense of it.  Hopefully once that is done, it is possible to move forward and look to a different future which is meaningful.  I do believe that divorce can be an end but it is also in time a new beginning.

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