New. Separation & Parenting Through The Pandemic is our latest title. It covers changes to the way family law and family courts are operating including guidance on remote hearings, keeping up contact with children remotely as well as a detailed chapter for those effected by domestic abuse with advice from the police and a number of accredited professionals. The book contains a UK-wide list of support organisations for those going through divorce/separation.
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My mother told me, after I left my husband, that she was relived but that I shouldn't forget we had a child together and therefor I would have to have a relationship with him for life!
It has been extremely difficult as a dad to except you can't cuddle or kiss your children but being realistic and accepting this time will pass, helps. Also having a good structure around you is essential to your own mental health.
I always advise 24 hours on everything. If you're fed up with something said, always wait 24 hours to respond. First conclusions are often formed in anger. A bit of time helps you see it's not as dramatic as you perceive it.
We were worried doubt remote court hearings but I must say they have been incredibly effective and efficient.
My advice is to be open, ask for help, people won't always know how you're feeling or what you are dealing with.
One of the characteristics of our case is alienation from me, my partner and my sons's extended family. COVID-19 restrictions have allowed me to address some of the issues face on and spend quality time with my son. This has allowed me to understand the depths of his upset.
I would have done things differently by accepting the family break-up sooner, detaching myself emotionally and not being too reactive.
If parents don't co-parent well it is essential that the non-resident parent who is refused contact tries to stay positive for both themselves and their child/children.
If you can possibly afford counselling for yourself, do it. It really helped me see that my family of 4 was still a real family and not incomplete without 5 of us
Allow your children to have a different opinion to your own. Infact, allow anyone (friends, family and your children) to have their own opinion on both your ex-partner and the circumstances of your separation. They can't share your hurt and trying to make them do so will only harm them and your relationships.
On reflection I would have had my ex arrested immediately the first time I was hit. My guilt is four children who have now normalised domestic abuse. That is my crime.
Look after yourself, ask for help, make friends with other single parents, do new things.
I wish I had taken more time to introduce my new partner to my daughter.