Impact of Couple Conflict on Children
What can be the impact of couple conflict on children? When children are exposed to their parent’s conflict which is frequent, intense and unresolved, it can be extremely harmful to them. This applies to children of all ages, even if the conflict is non-violent. It can manifest itself in increased anxiety, depression, aggression, hostility, anti-social behaviour and criminality. It can also affect the child’s emotional, cognitive and physical development and impact upon academic achievement.
Family lawyers at Anthony Gold are focussed on dispute resolution. We always emphasise to our clients the importance of trying to deal with separation in a way that is child-focused and which minimises the impact of any conflict on the child.
If children are able to see their parents resolving matters in a mutually respectful way, they are more likely to develop their own conflict-resolution skills and will, therefore, be better equipped for adult life.
For some clients, it is appropriate to consider whether any additional support is required to help them manage their separation in a child–centred way. Referrals may be appropriate to other professionals, including counsellors, psychotherapists, life coaches or health care professionals.
In cases involving high parental conflict, it may be appropriate to consider an intervention programme such as the one offered by the Tavistock clinic, which helps families to work on Parenting Together even if they are separated.
Such programmes can help to break a cycle of poorly resolved conflict and this reduces the likelihood of those children experiencing similar relationship problems to their parents later in life.
I am a member of Resolution. This is a family law organisation, which promotes amicable resolution on the breakdown of a relationship. Their website provides invaluable information to parents to help them focus on the needs of their children when managing the transition from being a family under one roof to being a family in two separate households.
The Resolution website also provides information on Parenting Through Separation which is specifically designed to support parents through separation and divorce, whilst focusing on the emotional well-being of children.
If parents can resolve matters by agreement, whether on their own or with the support of others, not only will they keep their legal fees to a minimum, but they are more likely to promote the future mental and physical health of their children.
This blog was updated on 03/02/2023* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*