Child of divorce offers advice as charity ambassador

By Lenore Rice

A 14 year old girl who watched her parents divorce at the age of 5 has become an ambassador for the charity 'Kids in the Middle', which helps young people when their parents go through a separation.

Hero Melia was just 5 when her parents divorced in 2003, and at the time thought it was her fault - a common perception among young children whose parents separate. Hero is hoping to improve how parents handle divorce by sharing her experiences, and is also scheduled to speak to a room full of family law solicitors. She has some ideas on how the divorce process could be improved, including:

  • Increased support for children and parents during the separation process.
  • A set plan for separating parents to follow, including guidance on child custody and contact.
  • Parents to write a note together to the children to explain why they are separating, so that no one side is represented more than the other.

A divorce is a difficult time for everyone involved, and for most people it is the first time they will experience a separation, and they are usually not well-equipped to deal with all the issues. In the middle of trying to deal with all the emotions in respect of their spouse, parents are also having to deal with making important decisions about the future of their children, such as custody, maintenance, education, contact for the non-resident partner, and other issues.

Invariably children suffer the most in a divorce, and their ordeal is only compounded if the parents go through a volatile separation. In the heat of the moment some parents can forget that their children still love both of them and think the world of both of them, so to hear one parent talking ill about the other is very confusing and damaging. Is is also not uncommon for divorcing parents to take to social media sites such as Facebook to vent their frustrations about their spouse, and this often filters to back to the children.

Most separating parents are focused on achieving a healthy divorce, and mediation proves successful for a lot of couples. The collaborative law process, often referred to as the 'friendly divorce' is also popular with parents, as it involves the couple agreeing not to go to court, but to talk through the issues with each other and their respective solicitors.

If you require advice about divorce, including the collaborative law process, from a family law solicitor in Northern Ireland, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 1363.

To read more information about the collaborative law process click here.