Family separation is a hard time in anyone’s life and knowing what to do or where to turn for advice can be a challenge, especially at a time when financial concerns can be causing additional anxiety at an already anxious time.
There are a lot of professional and charitable organisations in Kent who can help support you through your family separation and to ensure that you are working towards the most positive environment possible for your children.
Where to start?
There are some key questions that arise when people separate. The answers to these will help you work out where on our website you need to look.
First, are there any safety issues? This might be domestic abuse, fear of harm (including self-harm) to a person, or any child protection issue. If you have any concerns about any of these, click here before looking anywhere else on this website. Safety issues always come first.
Secondly, think about the children. Children have needs when parents separate and there are good services and resources available to help them. It’s really important that they get their own information and support, which is different from the help available for parents. Click here for support for children.
There are 24 top tips for separating parents, written by children from the Family Justice Young People’s Board. You can read them here.
Thirdly, adults need help, in a variety of ways. The areas of support come in different categories:
- It can be an emotional roller coaster when a relationship ends, with feelings ranging from heartbreak to hatred, and everything in between. It’s hard to manage life well when we are dealing with strong emotions, particularly if we have very negative feelings about our ex. There are resources available to acknowledge and address our feelings about the separation. This is important because, with children involved, it’s hard to make the best arrangements for them when we’re very upset or angry. Click here for information about counselling and mental health support.
- If there are children, there is important legal and parenting information that parents need to know, to make sure the child’s needs come first. This information will help you put child welfare first, and make it easier to manage arrangements with the other parent. Follow the links below for information on:
- If there are children, there are practical arrangements that need to be agreed upon with the other parent. Some parents manage to agree on arrangements directly with the other parent, but many find it difficult, especially in the early days of separation. There’s help available. Click here for information about separating with children involved.
- There may be financial issues to be resolved, including where you might live, how to share any assets that you have, or what monthly support is payable. There are a number of different ways to resolve finances and get a legally binding agreement. Click here for information about financial separation.
- If you are married and you want to obtain a divorce, then you may be able to apply online or you may want to seek some professional support. Click here for information about divorce.