For Kids Sake CEO questions the clichéd metaphor of “warring parents”.

Children suffer greatly when denied relationships with loving parents, relatives or carers. The scientific evidence is irrefutable and frightening: worse mental and physical health, increased risks of self-harm and suicide and numerous behavioural problems [SMH, 7 Aug: Principal’s warning to feuding parents.] But the go-to catch-phrase of “warring parents” hides the real problem.

Most parents are extremely stressed and vulnerable when they divorce or separate; their children are at increased risk of many forms of harm. This is a major social and health issue, not a legal one as we allow it to be treated. We need to invest much more cleverly in health-focused early interventions that provide help and support for all separating families instead of too readily dismissing parents as “warring” and relying on a family law system that models – or even causes – prolonged, adversarial, financially crippling and war-like family break-ups.

Dr David Curl, CEO, For Kids Sake

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