25 June, 2009


Separation and Divorce

conversationWhen Relationships End
Sometimes relationships deteriorate beyond reconciliation. At this point you may wish to seek practical, legal or emotional advice and support about what happens next. The Navy recognises that Service families can be particularly vulnerable during relationship breakdown. Therefore professional support is available from both Naval Personal & Family Service and Royal Marines Welfare.

info More Information: NPFS & RM Welfare

One important aspect of relationships ending is the children: how to support them and who they are going to live with. How you manage your relationship problems and how you separate is very important and has an incredible impact on how your children cope with the changes you are all facing.

child being heldWays To Support Your Children
Ensure you are honest, keep them informed of future plans and how things are going. They obviously don't need to know everything, and you do need to keep what you tell them age appropriate, but keeping them totally in the dark will only heighten any feelings of distress and anxiety.

Listen to what they say. They are likely to have questions and feel anxious about what is going to happen. Listen to their worries, and respond appropriately.

Remind them they are not to blame. Children often worry that they have done something wrong, and that they have caused the difficulties. Assure them they are not to blame, and that you both still love them.

Do not use them as a pawn - you may feel angry, betrayed, and let down, but using you children will not make things better. In fact it is likely to cause the children more pain and distress as well as increasing the bad feeling between you and your ex.

Keep others informed - if the children are in school, inform their teacher. They are likely to show changes in behaviour, and may become unsettled within class. If the teacher is aware, they can compensate as required and provide support as necessary.

Keep the children central to any future plans. Remember they did not make this situation and have no way of gaining any sense of control. Continued contact with the non-resident parent is generally accepted as an essential part of supporting the children, although there will be occasions when this is problematic or counter productive.

If you can't agree, get help. There are numerous sources of mediation, many of which are free and are likely to save you both a lot of stress and money in the long run.

website Web site: NCH Support and Advice for Children

website Web site: Parentline Web Site

website Web site: The Site (for young people)

You may wish to access support regarding mediation, reconciliation or resolving any number of relationship issues. Don't worry, support is at hand. There is a wealth of agencies and organisations providing support, advice and guidance in this area. Should you wish to discuss your situation, or how to access services, contact our Help Desk, Confidential Support Line, or NPFS & RM Welfare.

info More Information: RNcom Help Desk

info More Information: Confidential Support Line

info More Information: NPFS and RM Welfare

Things to Consider
There are so many things to consider when you are separating or divorcing. You have shared your life with this person for years, and almost all the things you both do, need or own are tied in with the other person. This means that when you split you need to re-establish your own life…often from scratch. Here's a list of things you are likely to need to consider.

You both love them, and life without them may well seem empty. Your children are central to your lives. One thing you need to ensure is that they don't become overly distressed or anxious about the situation. They are going to find the changes unsettling. This is fact, but how you handle the situation will determine to a great extent the level of stress they experience.

For the partner who does not gain primary residency, this can be a difficult time. Contact can be difficult to organise as you both try to rebuild your lives, especially if you have new partners. However it is recognised that children generally benefit from seeing the absent parent as frequently as practical, and that regular communication helps continue parental bonds.

The government is now encouraging couples to undergo mediation regarding their children during divorce proceedings, as it is believed that mediation offers far less stress than having to seek legal resolution through the court system. In fact you may be required to attend mediation if your divorce proceedings are funded by government sources. There are numerous organisations offering mediation services and advice about how to support your children.

website Web site: National Family Mediation

website Web site: British Association of Law Mediators

website Web site: Gingerbread

website Web site: Families Need Fathers

If you live in service accommodation, your housing situation will be primarily dictated by Service regulations. The good news is that there is plenty of guidance and support regarding this situation.

The situation is more complex should you live your own property. In this situation, legal advice is essential for both parties, and you should seek this at the earliest opportunity.

info More Information: Housing - Navy Housing for Families

info More Information: Legal - Family Quarters & Marital Breakdown

info More Information: NPFS & RM Welfare

You have probably shared the bills, pooled your incomes and combined savings. One of you may have given up work to care for the children. Then there are pensions, gratuities and investments to be considered as well as that car loan, the credit cards, and the finance for the TV. Your finances may well be highly complex, or they may be quite straightforward. Whatever the situation you will need to consider who has what, owes what and gets what. Again, advice is essential. Do not put this off. Burying your head in the sand is not an effective long-term solution, and is likely to cause you all much heartache.

info More Information: Finance

info More Information: NPFS & RM Welfare

website Web site: Divorce-Online

website Web site: Credit Action - financial advice

website Web site: SSAFA - Divorce and its Financial Implications

Who gets the sofa, fridge and PlayStation? If you have children this question may largely be answered based on where they will be living, or who has primary care. However you need to be sensible, the PlayStation, etc may need to be where the children are, but they don't necessarily need the Beatles White Album, or every appliance you own. Remember you both contributed to the household and need to consider one another when deciding what goes where. If, however, you do have difficulties resolving this issue, help is at hand… there are numerous organisations offering mediation, including NPFS & RM Welfare.

info More Information: RNcom Help Desk

info More Information: Confidential Support Line

info More Information: NPFS & RM Welfare

website Web site: RELATE

These are only a few of the things you need to consider when you separate, and specialist advice is always recommended. Here are a few more organisations you may need to contact.

Defence Estates
Defence Estates coordinates all family accommodation for Service personnel. If you are living in Service Family Accommodation, they will be able to offer guidance regarding re-housing following marriage breakdown. Visit the website to view their information sheets on housing matters.

website Web site: This page is currently being re written, please check back later.

Joint Services Housing Advice Office
JSHAO provides all Service personnel and their families with information and advice on the increasingly complex range of housing options open to them whilst they are serving and when they are about to return to civilian life. They also provide support and advice to service partners regarding housing issues following relationship breakdown.

info More Information: Housing

website Web site: JSHAO

Citizens AdviceCitizens Advice
The Citizens Advice service helps people resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing free, independent and confidential advice, and by influencing policymakers. This is an ideal source of free advice, information and legal guidance for those facing separation and divorce.

website Web site: CAB

Child Support AgencyChild Support Agency
The Child Support Agency is part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The Child Support Agency is responsible for running the child support system. Their business is to assess, collect and pay child support maintenance, ensuring that parents who live apart meet their financial responsibilities to their children.

website Web site: CSA

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