Divorcing Children: Children's Experience of Their Parents' Divorce

Divorcing Children: Children's Experience of Their Parents' Divorce

Divorcing Children: Children's Experience of Their Parents' Divorce

Divorcing Children: Children's Experience of Their Parents' Divorce

Synopsis

"Drawing on a three-year multidisciplinary study of children of divorced parents, the authors, leading academics in their fields, present a much needed guide to understanding the experience of children who are experiencing parental separation. This book provides an in-depth account of how children are actively involved in the process of divorce and how they shape that experience. The topics discussed include how children find out that their parents are separating; how children tell other people about what is happening to them and their family; how parent-child relationships change after separation and ways in which children adapt and cope during and immediately after their parents' divorce. The authors show what children want and need to know as the process of divorce unfolds and how professionals can respond appropriately to help them to understand and adjust to their changing circumstances. Divorcing Children addresses the weaknesses of current legislation in family justice and suggests ways of improving the skills and knowledge of all professionals who work with children during this difficult period in children's lives." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

This is a book about divorce seen through children's eyes. It is not a book about the longer-term consequences for children of their parents' divorce. Instead, this is a book about the lived experience of divorce, more or less as it happened. Using children's own accounts of how they experienced the breakdown of their parents' marriage, it shows how children are not only witnesses to, but also participants and actors in, the reconstruction of family life that follows divorce. To achieve this, the book reports the findings of a study conducted by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers who interviewed 104 children, aged 7 to 15, relatively soon after their parents had obtained a decree nisi of divorce. A detailed account of the research design and the process of data collection is provided in the Appendix.

It may be helpful at the outset to explain what we mean, and what children most often mean, by 'divorce'. At its simplest, a divorce is the point in time at which a couple's marriage is legally terminated and at which they are free to remarry. Taking a slightly broader approach, divorce may refer to the entire legal process, often spread out over several months, that the adults have to go through to bring about that final termination. But divorce is not just a legal procedure. Parents and children commonly refer to divorce to mean the entire experience of the break-up of the adult relationship and the consequences of that break-up. Usually, they regard the moment when one spouse leaves the family home, or announces their intention to end the marriage, as the starting-point of the whole 'divorce' . . .

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