70% of parents claim to have their childrens welfare as their top priority during a break-up or divorce; however, a recent study suggests quite the contrary with two thirds of parents admitting to using their children as a bargaining chip.
In a bid to save children from an emotional tug of war, it has been suggested that instead of these dramas playing out in court, “conflict clinics” should be attended where disputes can be resolved. It has been suggested that should the conservative party come out on top of the next election, clinics like these could become a reality. Maria Miller, the shadow family minister has been researched Australian “family relationship centres” which a view of creating similar schemes here.
Under new proposals, dispute resolutions would be compulsory, with no one being allowed to make a divorce application without a certificate saying they have been through resolution and failed. Parents would also be given an incentive to use such conflict clinics by making it twice as expensive to apply for contact orders through the courts than to undergo family therapy. Under such a scheme only the most difficult cases would end up in court.