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Resolution has launched new advice for dealing with divorce and domestic abuse to mark White Ribbon Day, with a guide for divorcing and separating parents in relationships where domestic abuse is, or has been, a feature.
The new guide, which can be found here, advises parents on dealing with difficult divorce situations, including those characterised by abuse, addiction and parental alienation. It includes information on how parents can protect themselves from abuse, and how to help children through emotionally difficult situations.
Jane Wilson, a leading domestic abuse specialist at Hall Smith Whittingham in Crewe, and chair of Resolution’s Domestic Abuse Committee, comments:
‘Divorce and separation are difficult at the best of times, and are made a thousand times more traumatic where there is abuse, addiction or extreme hostility involved. For parents trying to support and shelter their children through this sort of situation, it can be hard to know how to talk to the children about the divorce, and how to balance any arrangements for the child to see their other parent with the risk of the child coming to physical or emotional harm.’
‘Often the perpetrator will use the children to maintain control over the domestic abuse sufferer. This can include making demands for time with the children and threatening or taking court proceedings. The perpetrator is not actually interested in more time with the children but just wants to continue controlling interaction with their former partner. Coercive control is usually perpetrated by men.’
‘Thousands of families face this situation every day. That’s why we have developed this advice guide, to provide parents dealing with difficult divorce situations with sensible, clear advice.’
Jane’s advice for parents who are concerned about parenting arrangements during abusive divorce situations is:
For more information, including case studies, and advice on talking to children about domestic abuse and divorce, visit Resolution’s new online advice centre for parents that was launched at a special event in Parliament on Tuesday 24 November 2015.
Resolution will also be running a Twitter Q&A session between 1-2pm on the 25 November 2015 as part of White Ribbon Day. Questions can be tweeted to a panel of family law and domestic violence specialist lawyers – visit @ResFamilyLaw and use the hashtag #AskResolution to ask a question.
Geraldine Morris is a solicitor and Head of LexisPSL Family.
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Geraldine is Head of LexisPSL Family. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1992 and was in practice for 15 years, most recently as a partner and head of the family team at Hart Brown, a large Surrey firm.
Geraldine writes for Butterworths Family Law Service and is a past editor of the Resolution Review. She has been published in the New Law Journal, the Law Society Gazette and the District Judges’ Bulletin as well as in the national press including the Times and the Telegraph.
When in practice she was a member of the Law Society Family and Children Panels, and an accredited Resolution Specialist with a focus on advanced financial provision and pensions. A past Resolution regional secretary and press officer, Geraldine also contributed chapters to the Resolution publications, International Aspects of Family Law (3rd Edition 2009) and The Modern Family (2012).
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