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Separation is never easy and can be emotionally damaging for families if not dealt with sensitively by parents.  Every child has a right to contact with both parents, regardless of whether the relationship between parents is good or bad.  There are organisations which can advise parents on how to manage a separation as sensitively as possible, and which let parents understand theirs and their children’s rights.

It is a good idea to read about your rights, options and the best ways of going about organising a separation.  There are so many things from financial to emotional to consider.  It is sensible to avoid arguing in front of children, and to work out your changes with support from people you can rely on.

1.  FAMILY & FRIENDS.  Separation is often not easy for families but asking family to avoid insulting or saying negative things about one parent of another is important.  Children love both their parents. Ask family to support you by baby-sitting or taking the children while you and your partner discuss future options and changes. 

2. SCHOOLS & PROFESSIONALS:  Inform your children’s schools that you are separating so that they can be prepared for any behavioural or emotional changes in your children.  The teachers, school nurses, advisors and counsellors can support your children as your family situation changes.  Social services may be involved and may be able to offer support.

3. THE CHILDREN: Be honest with your children about the situation but take their age and level of understanding into consideration when discussing changes with them.  If you show them you are calm and organised, and answer their questions they will feel more confident that the changes will be manageable.  They may become clingier, teary and /or misbehave until things settle down.  Reassure yourself this is normal, and let them know they are loved by both parents.

The following links offer support through information and advice:

Separated from your partner?    Do you need a safe and comfortable place to meet your child following separation?  The Melton Mowbray Child Contact Centre runs on the centre of Melton every Saturday from 2-4pm.  For more information contact 01522 297102.  Email:

The Family Mediation Service are divorce and separation specialists offering MEDIATION –a way of helping you reach your own agreements about separation without courts.  You can self refer for mediation by downloading a simple form requiring your basic details and information and NI number.  This site offers links to agencies that can help you.

Relate is a relationship counselling organisation running in Leicester with outreach clinics in Melton and Oakham. It costs £12.50 for an initial I hour appointment, and then £45 per session. If there are no appointments available in Melton they can find one in Oakham or the Leicester branch if you can travel.

If you are severely stressed due to a relationship issue it can have a negative impact on your health. You may benefit from visiting your GP to share your issues.  The GP can help medically, and may be able to help you decide if counselling may be of benefit, although not all counselling is available free on the NHS. 

Oneplusone is a national online support charity aiming to help resolve relationship difficulties early, and support families with available online researched information.  They list articles and publications relating to divorce, marriage, fatherhood, legal issues, parenting, step-families, and much more.

TheGetting it right for Children’ program offers parents advice about how to limit the effects on children of a separation.  Research shows this is possible with certain steps in place.  You sign up to the program and basically follow the information and advice online.

Family Lives offer an online chat and email support service, as well as a telephone helpline to support you through separation and divorce.  Tel:  0808 800 22 22

Families Need Fathers (FNF) is a charity offering national support to families seeking to maintain contact between both parents and children after separation. They offer fathers advice, guidance, legal information and support and more. Helpline: 0300 0300 363

(Open 7am - midnight,7 days a week).

Counselling Directory Separation Counselling can follow the decision by one or both partners to end a relationship. It differs from Relationship Counselling where the partners seek to improve their relationship and find a way forward together.

Get the DIVORCE APP by following this link and be in the know about all legal aspects of separation and divorce.

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