Keep the children out of it!

Work together and protect your children.

When Divorce happens the different parties need to work together to achieve the best outcome for the whole family.

Last year Giuseppe Pingerna, Solicitor in our Family Law Services and Divorce team wrote an article named ‘Leave them out of it’inspired by the report that an Italian lady was ordered by the Court to pay her ex-husband 30,000 euros in compensation (£27,000) for continually bad-mouthing him in front of their children.

The Family Courts in England & Wales are also seeing hostility as a growing issue and are now looking at ways of reducing aggression and parental alienation. The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) have stated that that it found parental hostility in a substantial number of the 125,000 cases it dealt with each year and are now looking at banning mothers or fathers from Court if they try to turn the other parent against the children.

Cafcass are so concerned by the issue that they are embarking on a trailblazing new approach. From spring 2018, all front line Cafcass workers (also known as Children’s Guardians) will be given a new set of guidelines labelled as the “high conflict pathway” which will look at itemising the steps that Guardians (many of whom are former social workers) must take when dealing with cases of suspected alienation of one parent.

The pathway will spell out exactly when children should be removed from the alienating parent and placed with “the target parent”. Parent alienation is now being identified as the biggest issue in divorce and separation cases when children are involved.

It has long been discussed between the professionals, from the Children’s Guardian’s to Social Workers to the Legal Advisors and Judges that children who are used as a weapon against the other parent are effectively being subjected to child abuse. It will have a long and lasting effect on the children’s relationship, not only with the parent who is being lambasted and demonised, but potentially also on the parent who is using those “tactics” to “get at” the other parent.

Our Family Law Services and Divorce team practice the Collaborative method of family law where both parties work together to resolve the issues through mediation processes, helping to potentially keep out of court and to minimise the impact that the separation is having on the children. They are also members of Resolution as well as being members of The Best Divorce Options Group. The group was created by solicitors from some of the main firms in Peterborough to offer a fresh approach, transforming the separation process for a couple and their children bringing positive benefits both financially and emotionally.

Divorce and separation does happen but at all times the children should be protected and not drawn into an adult argument. When a relationship breaks down the different parties need to work together to achieve the best outcome for the whole family.

If you, a friend or a family member require further help or advice with a family or divorce matter please contact our Family Law Services and Divorce team on 01733 882800 or email


Giuseppe Pingerna, Solicitor

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This article has been prepared for general interest and information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. While all possible care has been taken in the preparation of this article, no responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by the firm or the authors.