We can support you with:

  • Understanding co parenting and parallel parenting
  • Parenting help when your children are struggling
  • Working with differing parenting styles 
  • Parenting troubles and difficulties
  • Therapeutic parenting
  • How divorce works in the UK
  • Learning how to divorce
  • Help with divorce tensions
  • Working out a divorce settlement
  • Understanding the divorce process

Things you might try yourself

If you find yourself in the midst of a divorce or separation and – you have children, you may be feeling stuck, powerless, sad, angry, guilt, shame or exhausted. While these feelings are normal, it’s important that you take care of yourself while navigating the situation. Saying or doing things that you may come to regret later is not a good use of your resources even if you believe you are justified. Remember, all those texts and emails may show up later on long after you have moved on and when your children are old enough to read them. When children are involved, it is especially important to minimise the disturbance to them by understanding their needs.

Many people hope for a civil or amicable divorce but as the process becomes stressful, and tough decisions need to be made, disagreements come to the surface and it’s easy for the process to descend into hostility. Sometimes a divorce forces you to address issues like money which were never really talked about in the marriage. Going through a divorce will necessitate taking sound legal advice. It’s important to get advice that takes the whole situation into account. Seeing your ex as an enemy to be destroyed may satisfy something in you that wants revenge, but remember your ex will probably respond similarly and this could involve you in a lengthy and costly court battle. Remember that all the legal fees will be coming out of your marital pot of money.

The best way is to speak to your ex directly and find a respectful dialogue. Of course, you may have exhausted that possibility or have been in an abusive situation where talking respectfully is not an option. Maybe there is a lot at stake. For example, there is a difference between discussing what happens to your personal possessions and working out how child contact will work if one of you is moving further away.

It’s important not to bite off more than you can chew and consider whether you can manage this alone, whether you need support, or whether professional help is needed.

Whatever you decide, remaining calm is everything. Don’t imagine that you can make sound decisions when you can’t cope. Remember decisions you make now may affect the rest of your life.

Don’t be an amateur. Learn about divorce, learn the steps and what decisions you need to make. Understand the issues that need to be negotiated such as housing and finances. Consider the needs of your children at different stages of their future. Be realistic about change. Divorce brings change so your lifestyle is likely to be different. Be realistic about what to expect from your ex. All the reasons for the breakdown of the marriage are going to come under the spotlight during the negotiations, for example someone who was controlling is not going to suddenly be easy going.

During negotiations, if your purpose is to influence, persuade or challenge the other person to give in to your point of view, you are very likely going to escalate the situation no matter how well meaning you are.

Ten top tips for navigating parenting and divorce

If you want peace and harmony, you have to do your bit even if you are in conflict.  Here are some top tips to not make it worse:

Keep calm: remember that divorce is a time of change. You need fairness but not everything that happens will be fair and you will not like some strategies or outcomes. Remaining calm will help to create a peaceful space for when the time comes to sort it out.

Care: when things happen that you don’t agree with, be caring about it. It’s likely that more than just you is affected. Be considerate about impact.

Take care of you: think about your own wellbeing. For example, your tolerances will be different if you have slept well. If you have pressures in your life, it will affect your ability to see the world calmly. When you take care of your wellbeing you will make better quality decisions.

Be assertive: you have a right to state your preferred outcome as part of the negotiations. Express yourself clearly and be articulate without aggression.

Respond, don’t react: take time to ensure that you are giving a heartfelt response rather than a knee jerk reaction to any situation. You cannot take back a bad reaction.

Respect: do not gossip, disclose confidential information, manipulate or badmouth during the process. This is not only respectful to others it is an indication of self-respect.

Check your intentions: if your intentions are honourable, you will be credible. If your intentions are to damage or hurt others in order to be right or to exclude someone, you will make things worse.

Anticipate difficulties: if you can sense a problem looming, nip it in the bud. Ask for specific help or offer specific help. Get informed and learn how others handle these situations.

Remain open minded: remember that solutions can be different to how you imagined. Consider all aspects of a proposal before shutting it down.

Keep a space open for healing: remember that nothing is permanent no matter how intense it seems. U turns are made. Apologies can be forthcoming, and a new way may have advantages. Healing happens with the passage of time.


Need to talk to an expert?

We can support you with

  • Parenting during and after divorce
  • Collaborate difficult conversations
  • Contact arrangements
  • Family mediation
  • Divorce negotiations
  • Healing for you and your children
  • Post-divorce, Renegotiation
  • Individual support and mentoring

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    Here are some hard truths about parenting during divorce:

    • Mixing child contact and child support is not advisable. Child support is not a weapon. Children need a relationship with both parents unless there is a court mandated child protection issue that prohibits it. Child contact is a separate issue to child support.
    • If the situation is hostile, think about drop offs and pickups. Plan for the smoothest transition you can manage. Your children are deeply affected by these meetings.
    • Even adult children are affected by their parents’ divorce.
    • Manipulating your children to prefer you to their other parent is called parental alienation. Family courts can and will step in when a child’s welfare suffers as a result. There’s a presumption that it’s in a child’s best interest to have a positive relationship with both their parents.

    Your work:

    • Every minute you spend with your children is an opportunity to build a loving, compassionate, and secure relationship with them. Don’t squander it by bad mouthing others.
    • Keep a stable home environment as much as is within your power to do so.
    • Listen and empathise with their needs. If you are not in a state to do this, try to find a responsible family member they can talk to who will just be loving and compassionate.
    • Protect your child from the details of the negotiations.
    • Learn about parenting, divorce and change as if you were trying to get a Master’s degree.
    • Never argue with your ex in front of the children. These arguments can escalate into police being called.
    • Create a safe environment for drop offs and pickups.
    • Remember that no feelings are permanent. There will be a time when things settle down.

    We would love to answer your questions, hear your experiences, talk more about our work and explore opportunities.

    Please email us here.