Lis­ten to the chil­dren

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT&ANALYSIS/ -

AS AN OF­FI­CER with the Chil­dren and Fam­ily Court Ad­vi­sory and Sup­port Ser­vice (Caf­cass), work­ing with di­vorce and sep­a­ra­tion on a daily ba­sis, I was heart­ened to read Leon Sy­mons’s ar­ti­cle (JC De­cem­ber 29) strongly ad­vo­cat­ing ar­range­ments by agree­ment.

How­ever, I do not ac­cept that it is the ad­ver­sar­ial sys­tem which leads to di­vorc­ing cou­ples and oth­ers talk­ing in terms of “win­ners and losers”.

It is not the sys­tem but the em­bit­tered par­ents with un­re­solved mat­ri­mo­nial is­sues who use the only arena open to them to con­tinue their bat­tle. In re­al­ity there are no win­ners — only losers — af­ter di­vorce.

One can only strive to make “sec­ond best” as good as pos­si­ble which, in turn, places an even greater re­spon­si­bil­ity on par­ents who must put the needs of their chil­dren be­fore their own. Ian Is­rael Lon­don N20 RE­GARD­ING YOUR AR­TI­CLE on chil­dren’s wel­fare when a mar­riage ends in di­vorce (JC, De­cem­ber 29): the approach nearly all chil­dren de­sire — as demon­strated in re­search — when par­ents di­vorce is that their voices are lis­tened to, and not the shout­ing of the par­ents.

So stop telling chil­dren what to do and in­stead lis­ten to what they have to say. Name and ad­dress sup­plied

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