Divorce is not easy for anyone involved. The husband and wife, kids, grandparents, friends. Everyone will be affected in different ways. The key thing is to navigate the process and negotiations in as calm a sea as possible.
A common question I get asked during the divorce process from worried dads is: what rights do I have as a father?
The first thing to say in response to this is that the law is focused on, and based around, the needs and rights of the children, not those of the parents. It is what is best for the children. Often that will be to ensure a healthy, supportive relationship is maintained with both mum and dad. In broad terms, it is considered to be their right to have a relationship with both parents.
So often many amazing dads out there are far too humble about their qualities and abilities. We want to give dads – or at least one dad in particular – his time in the spotlight and give people the chance to say thanks for all the good dads out there. That’s why Woolley & Co is sponsoring the Derby Telegraph’s Dad of the Year, as part of their Heroes of Derbyshire Awards Programme launched last month.
A shocking report in 2014 revealed that a teenager sitting their GCSEs is more likely to own a smartphone than live with their father. The Fractured Families report, from the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), also showed that a million children have no significant contact with their dads.
I was tempted to entitle this blog Sparkling Cyanide, sadly not a reference to a work by Agatha Christie but in fact a recent case in the family courts which illustrates how the courts become involved when parental ‘responsibility’ isn’t being exercised.