Conflict Resolution Day - When families break down
17 OCTOBER 2018
October 18 is Conflict Resolution Day. While conflict happens near and far, conflict in the family can impact the personal wellbeing of every family member. It may have long lasting and severe impacts on children and young people. Children, who are at the centre of bitter day to day care and contact battles, may not be at the centre of the decision-making process. Children and young people need love and support from both parents, as they adjust with new family circumstances.
The good news is that support is available to help families resolve conflict all year round, and not just on Conflict Resolution Day. Skylight Trust and FairWay Resolution Limited both offer expert support at times of family change and conflict, to help people get through difficult times.
When parents separate they will need to work out mutually agreed child-care arrangements and family routines. Children and young people will need support and encouragement to get used to their new life and to cope with the changes. Adopting a concept of being “partners in parenting” will greatly benefit everyone involved, especially at a time when emotions are running high. How parents manage a separation or divorce and how they deal with conflict during this time, has a big impact on how the whole family copes.
The family justice system is designed to help people resolve their care of children issues, without the time, expense and stress of going to court. This in turn frees up the courts to focus on cases that most need judicial expertise, especially those involving domestic violence.
Those going through family conflict can complete the Parenting Through Separation (PTS) course, which is a free information programme run by experienced professionals. The Skylight Resilience Hub has some great practical information on how to get through family change. This is a great place to pick up practical tips to help you parent and work through the change.
If you can’t agree on care arrangements together, your next step is to use the Family Dispute Resolution service.
Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is designed to help families reach agreement on parenting arrangements after separation or at any point where there is a dispute. Anyone involved in a dispute about the care of children can go to FDR, most of the time this is parents, but it may involve extended family, whānau or other people. FairWay is a nationwide mediation service in which a mediator works with all parties, so that a practical agreement can be reached that supports the best interests of the child or children.
Conflict Resolution Day is a great time to think about your own family and how you can move forward. FairWay and Skylight Trust are here to help you navigate through change and conflict.