The Co-Parent Hub
There is a lot to consider when thinking about separation. Most important is how the new arrangements will affect your children. You are likely to be feeling strong emotions and it may be hard to not be swayed by these. A good place to start thinking about this is the Co-Parent Hub. It gives you the chance to think through the practical arrangements you’ll need to make, and will help you stay focussed on making decisions in the best interests of your children.
The Co-Parent Hub has different online tools to help you during and after your separation and in making arrangements for your children. Their Parenting Plan, which both parents can use, and advice about mediation options are designed to help separating parents come to agreements without needing to use the court system. It also has advice on how to reassure your children, who are likely to be feeling upset and anxious, and take some time to really listen to them about what they need.
It is almost always in a child’s best interest to maintain contact with both parents. It is important that you do not seek to punish your ex-partner by denying them contact with their children, unless of course there are concerns that the children would not be safe.
If you are concerned that your children are not safe with your ex-partner or other family member, it is your responsibility to take protective action. This may include:
- stopping your children from seeing your ex-partner, or other family members, where there is a risk to your child’s safety
- asking somebody neutral to help with handovers
- asking for handovers to take place away from the home address
- asking for communication to be kept to arrangements for your children
- limiting communicating to text messages
- using a child contact centre (which provide supervised and supported contact, there are often costs involved)
If you are considering leaving a relationship due to domestic abuse first look at the section on this website with specialist advice and support
When to contact the Front Door for Families (Children's Services)
You should contact Front Door for Families if you are concerned that your child’s safety is at risk and you are unable to protect them or you need additional support or advice.
Family Breakdown Factsheet
Brighton & Hove City Council's Family Information Service have produced a Family Breakdown Factsheet. This gives parents an overview of the local and national support available when they are thinking about separating. It covers legal advice, mediation options, money matters and domestic abuse.
If you are unable to view the factsheet online and would like a copy posted to you, contact the Family Information Service on 01273 293545 or email email@example.com with your name and address.
The Getting On Better cards for separated parents can help you avoid common behaviours which can damage children during separation. You can view the Getting on Better cards online or request physical copies by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The separated parents section of this website also has some courses you would be eligible to book onto.
- AdviceNow has survival guides on the issues you need to understand when separating or getting divorced.
- Resolution family justice professionals work to resolve family issues in a constructive way that considers the needs of the whole family
- Family Lives' advice on whether to split up or stay together
- Relate's help for when you decide to separate with your partner
- Government advice on sorting out the legal side of separation
- Family mediation is less stressful than going to court and is usually quicker and cheaper
- Sussex Family Justice Board has local advice for parents considering separation