Family Issues

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Mr. Pendred employs an approach to family matters advising the use of conciliation and mediation as early as possible for family law matters.

It is best first, if feasible, to encourage and assist all parties who once shared love together and who have now a better reason at this time of dispute to share it, even more particularly if there are children involved.

The parties may need time to adjust to this new reality of separation. Confusion and anger will be only temporary. Children in the family, if any, need to be the primary focus. Alas, there are only losers in family breakdown.

The critical loser is the innocent child. Parents ought to shield the child from their own trauma and seek agreement, mediation and reconciliation where possible.

The welfare of the child is regarded as the first and paramount consideration.

Access to children where husbands, wives or partners may be agreed between the parties. Family members themselves will know what works best. Duration and frequency of access must be well thought out and discussed with a lawyer to avoid unnecessary disagreements.

It is not good to change one’s mind too often about these issues, as it indicates confusion of mind and lack of realism. Keep to the plan, and perhaps review it with regard to the child’s wishes every few months as it progresses.

Serious misconduct may require that a spouse or partner leave the family home because of their condition or behaviour where there are reasonable grounds for believing that the safety or welfare of that spouse, partner, or child may be at risk or where the family home may be at risk.