For the vast majority of us, talking about a break-up or a divorce is something we only really want to do when it's absolutely unavoidable — and even then many of us shy away from confronting the bigger issues.
After all, dwelling on what might happen if the relationship were to break down seems at odds with enjoying a happy partnership or marriage.
This new initiative comes from research findings that show that almost nine out of 10 couples have talked about how they would spend a lottery win, yet just 5% say they have discussed potential parenting arrangements in the event of a separation or divorce.
Around 280,000 children are impacted by parental separation each year, both from cohabiting relationships that break down and marriages that end in divorce — with one in three of these cases ending up in the family courts.
So, rather than put off talking about arrangements until the time arrives (though we all hope it doesn't), opening up the discussion now means that if a relationship ever were to come to the point of break-up, there are already plans and understandings in place that have not been made amidst animosity and upset.
So, what is The Parents' Promise?
'It's a commitment parents can make today while they’re still together about how they will always put their children’s wellbeing first if their relationship breaks down in the future. This isn’t about giving up on the relationship, not working at it or saying breaking up is inevitable but about acknowledging some relationships do unfortunately break down and having a conversation about how you would consider the children’s needs if this were to happen,' the website explains.
The aim is to promote conversation and shift the current culture around divorce and separation so that it’s less adversarial. Instead, it will hopefully help place greater emphasis on communication between parents and mean that any extra pain is minimised if such a day ever does come were the relationship breaks down.
The man behind the initiative, James Hayhurst says: 'It’s not surprising that most couples have not had a conversation about what would happen should they split up. But, for many, it will happen. The ask is simple: open a dialogue with your partner when you are still in love - not at the point of a relationship breakdown – and make a commitment together to put your child first, whatever happens.
'In doing so, we hope to drive positive behavioural change whereby thousands of couples and their children, will be protected from the devastating, and often avoidable, impacts of an adversarial split.'
For more information, to support the initiative and make the Parents Promise today, visit: https://theparentspromise.org.uk/.
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