Who should decide your children’s future?

A new law came into force last month, which means that when resolving the issues following a break-up, courts will make the presumption that both parents’ continued involvement in the lives of their children will be beneficial to the children’s welfare, and this will be the starting point for the decisions they make.

The aim of the change – which represents the final part of the government’s Children and Families Act – is to encourage parents to focus more on the needs of their children and the role that they will each play in their children’s lives after they separate.

Any step towards putting the needs of children at the forefront when a family breaks down is welcomed, but it still leaves key decisions about your family’s future in the hands of people who know very little about you and your family circumstances. Surely there’s a better way?

Take control

Sitting round a table to talk with your former spouse or partner probably isn’t top of the list of things you’d choose to do when you separate and emotions are running high. But continual battles over arrangements for your children probably aren’t high on your list, either, and having the courts decide for you may not result in an outcome that either you or your former spouse or partner want for your children’s future.

So if you picture your longer-term future, what do you see? Some people find it helpful to think about an important family event - your son’s graduation or daughter’s wedding - and how they want to feel on that day. It’s not just about whether or not you can bear to be in the same room as your ex, it’s also about the relationship you want to have with your children in the future.

If you see a constructive future ahead, then collaborative family law could help you get there by putting you in control of the decisions that are made about your and your children’s future now. Find out more about how it works here.
Brighter Future