In research recently published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, it has been revealed that parental conflict can place children at severe risk of mental health problems and future psychiatric disorders. Problems can include emotional and behavioural problems, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, low self-esteem and issues at school. The research undertaken by Professor Gordon Harold of the University of Sussex indicates that there is a clear need for early intervention. Previous research around this area has focused on couples going through the Divorce Process and had reached the same conclusion. However, Professor Harold’s research has also considered couples that remain together and found a similar level of impact on children, irrespective of whether the couple lives apart or remains together.

With this in mind it is important to take the necessary action to ensure that a child’s psychological and emotional wellbeing are safeguarded against any harm. This action may take many forms. Couples can choose to engage in counselling either by attending a private therapist or by consulting an organisation such as Relate who deal with parental conflict.   It also may be prudent to seek the advice of a solicitor, not necessarily to start proceedings but to know what the law says and the avenues available to you to resolve the conflict.

It is hoped that with early intervention, problems of this sort can be significantly reduced and if possible eliminated altogether.