Bringing up children involves making lots of joint decisions. If you don’t live together it is harder to make these decisions and you may find you are no longer able to talk to each other without conflict. It is important that you know how to get help to resolve issues and move forward in the best way for all involved.
The following organisations can help you work through these difficulties so that you can communicate better together as co-parents:
Click Parenting Apart
Click Parenting Apart has information, advice and support around all aspects of parenting apart. Learn how to communicate and parent more effectively when you are apart, create a free account, and share questions and stories with the parenting community. Click have also worked together with Cafcass to create the Co-Parent Hub. The information and resources here can help separated parents work together to become good co-parents.
- Find out more about Click Parenting Apart
- Information on setting up a personal account on Click
- Welcome to the Co-Parent Hub
Only Mums and Only Dads
OnlyMums and OnlyDads was founded in 2007 to support parents who are struggling to make the best decisions for their family during separation and divorce.
Both websites contain the same useful information and professionally written advice to support families on key issues around the law, mediation, housing, finance and general parenting. A live-chat facility to parents and an email exchange service are available free of charge, plus a free guide: 101 Questions. There is also a 'green phone initiative' to provide professional advice to families who have experienced domestic abuse.
Anna Freud Conflict and Separation
Information and advice for when conflict increases to a level that is not healthy for the family. Tips for parents and carers experiencing conflict, and advice on reducing the impact of conflict between parents and carers on children.
Voices in the Middle
Voices in the Middle is a collaboration between young people, the family law and mediation sector and the Family Initiative charity. They have created an area for parents where you can read about how to talk to and support your teenager through divorce and separation and includes information on their rights, well-being and protecting their family relationships.
Help guide for Co-Parenting and Joint Custody tips
Co-parenting after a separation or divorce is rarely easy. These shared custody tips can help give your children the stability, security, and close relationships with both parents that they need.
Parenting Apart Programme
The Parenting Apart Programme wants to make a positive difference for children. They understand that separation and divorce can be a challenging and upsetting time for all involved and that when parents are in conflict it becomes harder to think about the children. Your adult relationship may have ended but your role and your relationship with your children has not. It is vital for parents in conflict to get help, especially when communication has broken down or your children are not having time with the non-resident parent.
The Parenting Apart Programme helps parents work together and is recognised by the courts as an alternative form of mediation or dispute resolution. It can help parents communicate more effectively and gain a better understanding of how they can co-parent in a way that best supports their children.
Free support for military parents
Relate have teamed up with Home Start to offer some free programmes to support military parents who are either still in a relationship or are separating, or separated and co-parenting. The sessions are run over Zoom. They usually run for 1.5 to 2 hours a week, for five weeks. One or both parents can join. It is a self-referral process.
Families Need Fathers
Families Need Fathers supports dads, mums and grandparents to have personal contact and meaningful relationships with their children. Online information and advice plus a helpline and online forum.
Gingerbread is a national charity supporting single parent families to live secure, happy and fulfilling lives. The information section contains a huge amount of online advice to help you feel more confident about your choices for your family and helps the children of single parents as well as single mums and dads and young single parents. There is also a helpline.
The Gottman Institute
The Gottman Institute identified four distinct communication styles within relationship conflict that they called the Four Horsemen, after the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling. Being able to identify if any of the Four Horsemen are present in a relationship is a first step to working towards ways of communication which help to build relationships rather than undermine them.
Mediation and Community Support (MACS)
MACS offers mediation and conflict coaching where people are experiencing conflict within the family or community. They offer parent/teenager mediation. They also offer support to families when dealing with an authority or statutory agency, neighbour disputes and community conflict resolution and workplace mediation. Conflict coaching is also offered to support a person’s ability to manage conflict productively, and peer mediation where young people who are trained in the principles and skills of mediation can help others in their own age range to find solutions in a conflict situation.
Family Mediation and Counselling Services
Relationship counselling is at the heart of what the family mediation and counselling services offer. Meeting with a counsellor can help to rebuild and restore the balance in your relationship, working together to find solutions and ways to communicate and reconnect. Call a counselling adviser on 0330 113 0005 or enter your details online and wait for a call back.