1 in 3 children in UK will see their parents split up before they reach their 16th birthday.
Every child should be able to express their view in all things that affect them (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child), including:
- Be able to freely share their views
- Be listened to, as appropriate to their age and maturity
We are raising awareness of the impact of divorce and separation on young people in the UK. This includes providing a place to go for all young people, to find help.
Working with young people, we are also learning the best ways for young people to share their voice, without being put in the middle of any arguments. We are sharing this with parents, professionals and Government.
Young People Are Not Heard
Even though everyone agrees that, when parents split up, it is important to think about the young people in the middle, their voices are not being heard.
A group of family lawyers and mediators called Resolution interviewed over 500 children and young people in 2016:
Only 19% of them said they have a voice
There can be for lots of reasons for this, including:
- Young people do not know whom to talk to, when or how
- Listening to young people takes resources that professionals sometimes don’t have
- If parents don’t agree with each other, they may want to keep children completely away from being involved
- Emotional and mental health challenges for young people may be put as a reason (for example, ‘they are anxious because of exams’).