Coping with separation and divorce can be one of the most stressful times in both a child’s and adult’s life. Matters can become worse if you are struggling with financial difficulties or painful emotions. Sometimes we all need some support to work through our relationship difficulties. The links below include good support for you and your child or children if you are going through a separation or the divorce process, plus information on legal aspects and some helplines.
Separation and divorce
Civil Legal Advice (CLA)
CLA is a free and confidential advice service in England and Wales paid for by legal aid. If you are living on a low income or benefits, you may be eligible for free specialist advice from legal advisers on issues including separation and divorce, benefits and tax credits; debt, education; housing; employment; and family problems.
National Helpline: 0333 335 0489 (local call)
Divorce Recovery Workshop is a self-help course that will help people deal with the emotional trauma of a relationship that has broken down. The workshop will help you to understand what you are going through, provide support from others in the same situation and help you adjust to your new status following separation and divorce. It is complimentary to any professional help and support you may be receiving. They do not provide legal advice or formal counselling.
Rights of Women – https://rightsofwomen.org.uk/
Founded in 1975, we offer free confidential legal advice to women on our advice lines. We offer specialist advice in family law, separation and divorce, relationship breakdown, children and contact issues, domestic violence, sexual violence, discrimination, and lesbian parenting. We empower women to access their legal rights.
If you need to speak with someone about your partner being aggressive or abusive
If you’re a woman affected by domestic abuse, you can call Refuge or Women’s Aid on 0808 2000 247 at any time.
If you are a man affected by domestic abuse you can call Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 between 9am to 5pm – Monday to Friday.
Parents and parenting
Gingerbread Separation Hub
Gingerbread’s online Separation Hub has been designed to provide resources to parents that have recently separated. The Hub is organised by topics, covering support for the child, communication with the child’s other parent, legal issues, and safety, to list just a few.
Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline
Tel: 0808 802 092
Open 10am–6pm on Monday
10am–4pm on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
10am–1pm/5pm– 7pm on Wednesday
Gingerbread’s Single Parent Helpline is a free and confidential helpline, which provides support and expert advice on any practical issues that single parents may be facing such as separation and divorce, sorting out child maintenance, benefit, or tax credit issues.
Families Need Fathers helpline
Tel: 0300 0300 363
Open 9am–10pm Monday to Friday
10am–3pm Saturday and Sunday
The Families Need Fathers helpline has been designed for individuals who are going through separation and divorce and are worried about how this may impact on them and their children. The helpline is available to anyone (not just fathers).
Family Lives helpline
Tel: 0808 800 2222
Open 9am–9pm Monday to Friday
10am–3pm Saturday and Sunday
Family Lives offers a free and confidential helpline for families, and parents under stress in England and Wales. The helpline exists to provide emotional support, information, advice, and guidance on any aspect of parenting and family life.
The law provides many rights, responsibilities, and protections for children – and parents can often find themselves confused as to what the state requires. Law And Parents offers a comprehensive information source for parents wishing to learn about their legal responsibilities and their rights in relation to their children during separation and divorce.
A unique local network for Mums (or Dads), offering a wealth of information on both a national and local level to help your child through a separation or divorce. Once registered, you can access details for all kinds of local resources, from child-friendly cafes to childminders, places to go etc.
Understanding Childhood provides tips for parents on how to help their children cope with separation and divorce.
In their area for parents, you can read about how to talk to and support your teenager in the middle of separation and divorce, including their rights, well-being and protecting their family relationships.
Provides tips for parents on how to deal with their children’s education as a separated family.
Relate are the largest provider of relationship support in England and Wales and they help millions of people every year to strengthen the relationships that mean the most to them.
They have centres across England and Wales and a network of licensed local counsellors offering in counselling in person, over the phone and online. And if you’re not quite ready to speak to anyone yet, they have loads of self-help resources to get you started on your journey.
Counselling is one of the main ways we support people to strengthen their relationships. We offer a range of counselling services, including: Relationship counselling, Individual counselling, sex therapy, family counselling, young people counselling and children counselling.
This website provides a series of short videos that seek to help viewers understand new ways of managing conflict in order to change how things play out in the household. Each video demonstrates typical parental conflict situations where children have been “put in the middle” and provides the viewer with advice on how to resolve the situation, so that children can lead healthier and happier lives.
Helpline: 0300 123 7015
Kinship is the leading kinship care charity in England and Wales. They are there for all kinship carers – the grandparents and siblings, the aunts, uncles, and family friends who step up to raise children when their parents aren’t able to. They will not rest until every kinship family has the recognition, value and support they need and deserve.
Anna Freud provides advice and guidance for parents and carers in conflict or separating, including:
- The impact of conflict on children and young people
- Strategies to protect children from parental conflict.
- Other tips and additional resources
YoungMinds provides young people with free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK and tips on managing changes like separation and divorce.
For urgent help, young people can text YM to 85258; all texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors.
Young people can get support in a variety of ways:
- Free helpline (0808 808 4994), open from 4pm to 11pm every day
- Crisis Messenger, which provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK – young people aged 25 or under experiencing any painful emotion or crisis can text THEMIX to 85258
- One to one chat with a trained helpline supporter
- Telephone counselling services.
The Mix also offers helpful articles on how to deal with divorce or separation.
Voices in the Middle
Voices in the Middle is a place where young people aged 13 to 19 years old, whose parents are splitting up can find a place to share their voice, read helpful and age- appropriate content plus connect with support designed just for them.