Press: Help for couples with children going through separation and divorce
Press Release: 23 October 2014
A new free factsheet covering issues surrounding separation and divorce for mothers or fathers in the process of separating or bringing up children on their own has been published by the charity One Parent Families Scotland.
Every year thousands of couples with children separate or divorce creating thousands of new one parent families in Scotland. The ramifications of separation and divorce are huge, with almost every aspect of life including housing, finances, childcare, and work affected in some way.
To help single parents tackle some of these issues the charity has published a detailed free factsheet ‘Separation and Divorce: Sorting It Out’. The 14-page leaflet has been sent to thousands of single parents as well as other voluntary organisations and support groups and is also available online.
Susan Rew, Information Manager at One Parent Families Scotland, said:
“Every year the charity’s Lone Parent Helpline receives hundreds of calls from worried parents in the midst of relationship breakdown who need information on the law, benefits, property rights, debt, contact and maintenance payments to name but a few of the issues faced by new single parents. We hope that the new factsheet will help people deal with any immediate crises and enable them to plan for a good future with their children.”
For parents who have recently split up, the factsheet covers getting a solicitor, housing rights on separation, financial issues such as maintenance, division of property and pension sharing, and arrangements for children, including court orders, mediation and the Child Maintenance Service. There is also a section on domestic abuse.
A single father who had recently separated from his partner of 15 years rang the Lone Parent Helpline. Gary had remained in the house which was jointly owned by himself and his ex-partner with his seven year old son. His daughter wanted to stay with her mother. Gary had found life difficult since he had been on his own and was fearful that his ex-partner would try to force the sale of the house. He was very keen to remain in the house to maintain stability for his son. He wanted to understand where he stood legally.
The advice worker undertook an income maximisation to check that he was receiving all the benefits and tax credits that he was entitled to. She also discussed the issue of child maintenance payments. Gary was sent a copy of the ‘Separation & Divorce pack’ and was given information on choosing a solicitor. Gary commented: “I was pleased to get a list of family law solicitors in my area and I have found the service very helpful.”
Notes to Editors:
- One Parent Families Scotland has been dedicated to supporting single parents since 1944. For further information about OPFS and its services contact the Lone Parent Helpline on 0808 801 0323 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In Scotland there are 169,000 single parents with 295,000 children, approximately one in four of all families.
- One Parent Families Scotland, in conjunction with Children 1st and the Scottish Child Law Centre, has recently launched a Family Decision Making service which provides free unbiased expert advice on contact and residence, managing family relationships, maintenance and money matters, legal issues, talking to children about separation, and housing. The service includes free legal advice from a solicitor, face to face support and family group conferences with the support of a trained co-ordinator. This service can be reached via the Lone Parent Helpline on 0808 801 0323.
- Number of single parents in Scotland split by local authority/geographical area:
Geographical Area Single Parents Scotland 169,707 Aberdeen City 4,929 Aberdeenshire 4,717 Angus 3,170 Argyll & Bute 2,309 Clackmannanshire 1,811 Dumfries & Galloway 3,858 Dundee City 6,138 East Ayrshire 4,184 East Dunbartonshire 2,606 East Lothian 2,751 East Renfrewshire 2,350 Edinburgh 12,968 Eilean Siar 649 Falkirk 4,942 Fife 11,721 Glasgow City 26,454 Highland 6,261 Inverclyde 3,310 Midlothian 2,577 Moray 2,268 North Ayrshire 5,479 North Lanarkshire 13,336 Orkney Islands 462 Perth & Kinross 3,659 Renfrewshire 6,541 Scottish Borders 2,785 Shetland Islands 501 South Ayrshire 3,437 South Lanarkshire 10,815 Stirling 2,281 West Dunbartonshire 4,128 West Lothian 6,310
Sarah Barclay, OPFS, 0131 556 3899, or 07849 425661; email@example.com