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By Michael Knight

Tuesday 25 November 2008

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For over 40 years the founder Michael Knight has studied and witnessed firsthand a diverse range of effects caused by Separation and Divorce. In an attempt to provide support to others as well as himself, he founded a not for profit organisation in 2002 called Survivors of Separation with Beyond Separation being spawned in early 2008.

Having first Separated as a child from his father at the age of five, then as a father with periods of Separation in 1988, 1996 and then finally in 1998, it became clear there were simply not enough support systems for people going through Separation. As a father caring for his two children, he was pulled into an adversarial legal system by his ex, despite him trying all forms of mediation and efforts to negotiate. The countless systems integrated with the Family Court and legal processes were so flawed and had no real interest in the welfare of children, despite the common misconception that it does. He soon realised there must be a better way for families.

After networking with the community, he was not happy although not surprised, to learn that many other vulnerable people were suffering a similar fate. Failing systems were failing people and families everywhere, exacerbating conflict, division and loss, as opposed to directing parents into educational programmes that provided a more congenial and generous in spirit approach, smoothing out the grief of Separation whilst integrating you back into life in a positive way, especially where children were involved.

Through these experiences and supporting those in need during Separation, a process what many have referred to as a 'fate worse than death', his observation of various practices by institutions were far from adequate and unconducive to the well-being of families, either short or long term.

It became obvious to the founder that many elements of the Separation process were and are still to this day, simply not fit for human consumption causing families to suffer far more than necessary, retarding people's lives for a long period of time, if not permanently. It's an unacceptable practice in this day and age by public and private institutions to promote conflict and suffering, albeit in an often cleverly disguised fashion, for their own personal and monetary gain rather than proffer solutions that alleviate such pain. Professionals and institutions who are part of the problem and not part of the solution must be dismissed from any form of involvement with families.

Harming and segregating families occurs on an almost daily basis by current systems and authorities. The longer families remain embroiled in systemic exacerbated conflict, less likely are the chances that families recover ameliorating their hurt and pain, let alone the possibility of a reunion, at least based on a civil understanding. This leaves not only children but adults alike badly scarred with many additional issues they now have to sort through, if they are to have any prospect of living a functional and happy life.

It's an extra work load that is unfair to burden family members with, especially children, as the stamp of dysfunctionality often permeates deep into a person's psyche and being, possibly for the remainder of their lives and reverberating into future generations setting up and prolonging destructive environmental cycles.

Hence the path that many families are induced into embarking upon, through the many institutions that gain from this unfortunate aspect of life must be disbanded, paving the way for better alternatives.

The perception of justice, being rewarded, a place for revenge and power must be eliminated from the minds of people, preventing the numerous, naive and unsuspecting parents from having their lives and finances fleeced from these institutions. Fairness, common sense and balance must prevail with the introduction of friendlier and more peaceful solutions.

What does it say about each of us and our society as a whole; where we allow our Mums and Dads to be duped and misled, causing them and their loving children to suffer the perils of a badly managed Separation, when with some thought and care by us all, much of the pain and anguish can be prevented.

With a little more love, care and thought by us all, Separation can be made into a brief redirection in life, and not the horrible and destructive mess that many of us have come to experience. Separation can be an extremely difficult area, however it need not be if we all keep focusing on something better...

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