Advice & Inspiration

Published on January 8th, 2014 | by Kelly Rose Bradford


Relate launch campaign to help separated parents

Relationship charity Relate have launched a new campaign to help separating and separated parents.

Being Parents Apart‘ will assist families who are going through – or who have gone through – a breakup and help them achieve an amicable resolution to their issues.  

The campaign comes just days after ‘D-Day’ when law firms traditionally receive a spike in divorce enquires after families have struggled to cope with Christmas together.

Relate say that calls to their national phone line rose by 53% on the first Monday of January 2014, compared to the first Monday of December 2013, with appointment bookings increasing by 86%.   

The charity’s chief executive, Ruth Sutherland, said: “Deciding to separate is never easy, particularly when children are involved. But for some people it’s the best thing to do and the next step is to work out how to go about it.

“Heightened emotions can cause arguments and ill-feeling in a home before, during and after separation and kids often pick up more than we realise. This process can have knock-on effects for some children and young people, including problems at school, alcohol misuse and mental health and wellbeing issues**. But having strong relationships that go the distance in good times and bad and knowing how to manage the separation process can improve outcomes for everyone.”

A recent survey conducted by YouGov found that 58% of separated parents do not believe in the idea of a ‘good separation’, and 52% said their breakup had a negative impact on their children. Four fifths (81%) of respondents to the poll said that keeping the lines of communication open with your ex-partner is important, although one in ten (11%) preferred the strategy of cutting off communication as much as possible.

In terms of what to tell the children, 85% of the parents questioned said it was better to tell youngsters about the changes separation will bring to prepare them, rather than hiding changes in an effort to protect them (though 6% preferred this option).

With regards to who should make decisions about the children’s future, 68% of separated mothers said both parents should make decisions together, compared to 85% of fathers.

**Source: Relationships Alliance

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About the Author

Kelly Rose Bradford

is a London-based journalist and broadcaster, writing for the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Sunday Telegraph, and a host of women's magazines. Her robust opinions and feisty debating skills make her in demand as a social commentator, regularly guesting on ITV's This Morning programme, and across many radio stations, including 5 Live and BBC Radio London.

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