“Divided lives”– by Christine Jackman

The article “Divided Lives” by Christine Jackman in the Weekend Australian magazine 27-28 November 2010 pp 16-21, makes compelling reading. It quotes Dr. Jennifer McIntosh in relation to the report by McIntosh, Smyth, Kelahar, Wells and Long, delivered to the Attorney General in May 2010 about shared care arrangements in high-conflict families. The conclusion of the report was that children in shared care arrangements, four years after mediation, reported significantly higher levels of conflict between their parents, and these arrangements were associated with “greater difficulties in attention, concentration, and task completion by the fourth year”.

To many of us who work with families after separation, these findings are not surprising.

Avoiding the escalation of conflict, and helping parents to focus more on their children than on their own dispute, is the starting point. I think interdisciplinary teams have the highest possibility of achieving this shift.

Go to www.theaustralian.com.au to read the article.

by Marguerite Picard, Divorce and Family Lawyer