Alison Kitchman wants to change the divorce process so it does not have such an impact on children's mental health.
Alison Kitchman from Switalskis Solicitors is supporting a change in the law through national Good Divorce Week led by Resolution, who campaign for a fairer family justice system and commissioned the YouGov poll.
79% of the population agreed conflict from divorce or separation can negatively affect children’s mental health, a figure rising to 87% among those who experienced their parents’ divorce as children.
77% said conflict could affect children’s academic performance and a further two-thirds felt social interactions and the ability to form healthy romantic relationships were also jeopardised.
Alison said: “Each day I work with separating parents to help them resolve their own issues in a way that provides a fair outcome to everyone in the family, especially any children. But often, even with the most amicable break up, the requirement to apportion blame for the breakdown of the marriage can create unnecessary conflict that can threaten the entire process.
“Currently, unless a couple can prove they’ve been separated for two years with consent or five years without, the only way to get a divorce is to attribute blame. Around 60% of divorces in England and Wales are based on fault, compared with only 6-7% in Scotland where the law is different.”
With almost three decades’ legal experience, Alison is a highly skilled family law specialist who understands the difficulties people face when going through a relationship breakdown.
She says, “Good Divorce Week aims to provide practical help, highlighting ways for separating parents to put their children’s needs first, as well as calling on the government to urgently remove blame from the divorce process.”
With 90% of professionals saying current law makes it harder to reduce conflict between exes, Resolution has been campaigning for decades to remove blame from the divorce process. Evidence shows the impact of conflict stemming from the requirement to blame can have a detrimental effect on the couple and any children they may have.