Moving with children after separation
It is common for parents to relocate after a divorce or separation. There are many reasons you might want to move: a new job or a new partner; getting away after a difficult breakup; moving nearer to family and friends; or just seeking a new start. Whatever the reason, it’s important to think carefully about the impact on your children. And, if the other parent objects, you may need to get a child arrangement order from the court. Child arrangement orders have replaced residence orders’ and ‘contact orders’. If you already have one of these, you don’t need to reapply. Requests for these orders can be refused where there are ‘exceptional circumstances’. In a case known as Re F (2010), the court denied a mother’s request to move from north-east England to Orkney. The court ruled that the move would affect the children’s welfare as one had dyspraxia and mild autism another had expressed strong feelings against the move. Requests for orders to move abroad with children are usually treated with greater scrutiny but those considered ‘reasonable’ are not usually refused. When considering a request for an overseas residence order, courts will examine the reasons for the request. The court will consider the child’s quality of life including arrangements for schools and housing, the relationship between the child and the other parent back at home and the practicalities for maintaining contact. To ensure the order is enforced in the destination country, the court may require the relocating parent to obtain an order in that country to comply with local jurisdiction, or to pay a financial security, or bond. The relocating parent could face prosecution if they breach the terms of an overseas order, so it’s important to check the details carefully. It can be extremely upsetting for a separated or divorced parent to be told that their ex wants to relocate with the children. However, the courts will consider each case on its own merits and the children’s welfare will determine whether the order is granted. To avoid the costs and aggravation of a court case, parents should work to settle their differences and come to an agreement. It may be helpful to work with a mediator or to seek legal advice to ensure any proposed agreement is enforceable, especially where an overseas jurisdiction is involved. For more information on making child arrangements, visit For help with making a parenting plan, visit our free service, Splitting Up? Put Kids First.
Article | big changes, moving
Arguing with your ex
When parents separate, the biggest damage to children is done by exposure to rows and disagreements. Developing a way of working out disagreements can protect your children and keep your stress levels to a minimum. Disagreements are a part of life Parents often have different views about what's best for their children, even when they are together. When you’ve separated, these disagreements can easily get blown out of proportion. Ask yourself how important the disagreement is. Often, the best way to deal with a difference is to look for a compromise or even just to let it go. Unresolved disagreements   When dealing with the more important issues, arrange a time and place where you can talk properly and where the children won't overhear. Emphasise your desire to work it out and do what’s best for the children and work to understand each other. Don’t try to win the argument, and don’t make assumptions about the other parent's needs and motives. Ask questions and check the facts. Language and behaviour   Be respectful. Avoid insults and blame, and don’t get drawn into the past. Focus on the future and what you can do to improve things. Keep reminding yourself that this is about the children, and that the best thing you can do is work together to sort things out. If you’re struggling to communicate with your ex-partner, you may find mediation helpful. Mediators are skilled at helping parents resolve disagreements. They may help you see things differently, so that you can reach an agreement.
Article | communication, arguments
0 2 min read
“Ex-husband not sticking to court order”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Basically we have a court order in place which my ex requested out of the blue as he disappeared from our lives for nearly 2 years to live in Spain with zero contact then he took me to court saying I had made it difficult for him to see the girls. Anyway 2 years down the road and he is constantly changing the court order. Has never stuck to any of it and always letting the girls down with various reasons. The latest being that he cannot afford to feed the children despite being on 50k a year! (This is because the CMS are now deducting the maintenance from his wages and being the control freak that he is he is less than happy about this. This is his latest excuse. I got 1/2 hour free this morning with a solicitor and she advised me to not yet go back to court and I pointed out that he would not go for mediation so she suggested to write a non confrontational letter saying that I understand he is having difficulties sticking to the order and therefore as of next week contact will be as follows and propose 5 hours one Saturday afternoon. She also said to politely mention the court order and say that it will need reviewing if the above suggestion doesn't work for him. How can I politely word this in a non confrontational way as otherwise he will kick off verbally which panics me. Thanks in advance.
Ask the community | breach, legal rights
Sorting out benefits after separation
Once you’re no longer living together, you’re classed as separated for tax and benefit purposes. Separating from your partner may mean that you become entitled to new benefits and tax credits or higher amounts of benefits than you already receive. If you or your ex-partner were claiming benefits for the family before you separated, it’s important to tell Jobcentre Plus and HM Revenue & Customs straight away. Keeping them up to date about your change in circumstances can help you avoid being overpaid or losing out on money. Qualifying for extra benefits could make a big difference to the options be available to you, particularly when it comes to the cost of housing. If the parent with the main care of the children can work at least 16 hours a week, they may qualify for Working Tax Credit. This benefit can make a substantial difference to a single parent’s income, so it may be worthwhile – financially anyway – if you can manage this. If you have permanently separated from your partner, you can claim benefits and tax credits as a single person immediately. If your separation is temporary or on a trial basis, you may not be able to claim these benefits while there is still a chance you may get back together. For advice and practical support with benefits and tax credits, contact your local free advice centre, such as Citizens Advice, or called the Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline free on 0808 802 0925. You can find further detailed information on page four of the factsheet 'Action to take when a relationship ends',  produced by the charity Gingerbread who provide expert advice and practical support for single parents.
Article | legal rights, co-parenting
2 2 min read
Fathers’ legal rights and responsibilities
Parental responsibility (PR) is the legal name for a parent’s duties to their child. Having parental responsibility means you have the right to contribute to decisions made around your child's future and how they are raised, including giving consent to medical treatment, choosing their school, and their religion. Having parental responsibility does not mean that separated parents can over-ride each other’s wishes or interfere with day-to-day decisions relating to the children when they are with the other parent. Having parental responsibility doesn’t mean that you will always get what you want from a court if you disagree with the other parent. You may also be liable to pay child maintenance even if you don’t have parental responsibility.   Who has parental responsibility? Parental responsibility is automatically granted to mothers and to fathers who are married to the mother. You will also have parental responsibility if you have adopted the child or if the child was born after 1 December 2003 and you are registered on the birth certificate (in England and Wales). You do not lose  as a result of divorce or separation.   How to get parental responsibility If the mother agrees, you can both sign a Parental Responsibility Agreement form. You can download this form from the Courts & Tribunals Service website or ask at your local county court. If the mother doesn’t agree, you can apply for a Parental Responsibility Order from the court. In considering an application from a father, the court will take the following into account: the degree of commitment shown by the father to his child the degree of attachment between father and child the father's reasons for applying for the order The court will then decide to accept or reject the application based on what it thinks is in the child’s best interests.
Article | fathers, legal rights, separation
0 2 min read
Free online parenting plan
Splitting Up? Put Kids First was made by OnePlusOne, who are also behind Click. It was designed to support separating parents in helping them put their children’s needs first at a time of great emotional upheaval. The way separated couples manage co-parenting can have an enormous impact on a child throughout their life – from education in the short term, to future relationships and mental health in the long term. The aim is to reduce the number of children negatively affected by painful parent separations while encouraging a culture shift in the way people deal with co-parenting, to make the continued involvement of both parents the norm, and ensure that those working with separating families can provide the guidance and tools needed.  Created by our parent company, relationship charity OnePlusOne, this is the first online Parenting Plan that helps couples communicate and make arrangements about who will be seeing their children in an informal yet structured environment. The service is FREE and available 24/7 and 365 days a year. Help is available now, with no need to book an appointment or go on a waiting list. OnePlusOne Director Penny Mansfield CBE, says: If couples have a very nasty breakup they may find it impossible to work out arrangements for their children.If we can encourage them to think about new childcare needs before it becomes too difficult, that will be much better for everyone.Our hope is it will remove much of the bitterness involved in a break-up because you don’t have to make an appointment or go to a place where you have to define yourself in a certain way”. Splitting Up? Put Kids First is available in Welsh and English. Give it a try and let us know what you think. Contact if you’re willing to share your feedback with us.
Article | co-parenting, children, planning
4 1 min read
The role of grandparents (during separation)
Being a grandparent is a precious role, with all the joys of spending time with and caring for a child, and less of the stress. Most grandparents idolise their grandchildren, and grandchildren can thrive on that special relationship. After a parental divorce or separation, the grandparents’ role can shift dramatically and what was once taken for granted becomes fraught with complications. Grandparents – especially those who have been very closely involved – invariably get caught in the middle. You may worry about seeing less of your grandchildren or losing contact altogether. Your loyalties can be torn between wanting to support your child through the painful periods and wanting to stay on good terms with their ex-partner. After a separation, grandparents are faced with many dilemmas: Grandparents are often called on for advice and support. They need to be good listeners while staying neutral. Grandparents are expected to be there to pick up the pieces but withdraw whenever they are regarded as being too interfering. Grandparents should respect boundaries but also be available for support when needed. Grandparents often have to to provide comfort, reassurance and answers for angry and confused children, not always knowing exactly what is going on themselves. During a separation, parents are often overwhelmed with their own issues and with making sure their children are OK. In this state, it’s easy overlook the valuable role that grandparents play. It is worth taking the time to sit down and talk with grandparents about what they are might be thinking and feeling, making sure they don’t feel taken for granted. It is OK to say you need them. The support of grandparents can be a crucial factor in how children cope with their parents' separation. Try to be clear about what you would like from them, and encourage them to do the same for you. Be open and honest. Keep in mind that when a couple’s relationship breaks down it doesn't just affect the immediate family members – it touches other family members in a number of ways too. You may also like to visit How mediation can assist grandparents on the National Family Mediation website.
Article | grandparents, co-parenting, identity
0 2 min read