Can you have a ‘good divorce’? I sit slightly uncomfortably with the phrase, but it is true that, done in the right way, a divorce doesn’t have to be as bad as you think.
Good Divorce Week is an annual campaign to promote constructive ways forward for anyone separating or divorcing. Organised by Resolution, this year it takes place between 30 November to 4 December 2020. Resolution was founded in 1982 by a group of family lawyers with the belief that separating should be done in a way that minimises conflict and keeps the best interests of any children involved at the heart of it. I have proudly been a Resolution member all my working life, which means always working this way through their Code of Practice. This year the Good Divorce Week campaign focuses on the benefits of getting the right support and advice at an early stage.
I was asked why I am promoting Good Divorce Week.? To spread the message that there is a way to divorce with dignity and there is a way forward. It is so difficult for any couple that makes the tough decision to separate, and even more so now with everything going on with Covid-19. Often people just feel lost. What is crucial is that they find someone who understands how things work and what options are available, to help steer them in the right direction. Far too many families have little-to-no understanding of the options when it comes to divorce and can end up on a one-way route to court.
There is a real appetite for change amongst professionals, which we hope society will follow. There is a growing movement to get separation issues away from the court. The language of the 70s talking about ‘custody’ of children is not a good divorce and does not represent our 21st century understanding of children’s rights and the benefits of continued cooperative parenting.