Further parenting resources

If you’re splitting up, divorcing, or you’ve been separated for a while, you might find that sorting out the practicalities of parenting apart can feel overwhelming. But there are tools and information that can help you and your family through separation. They include:

Family mediation

Mediation is where an independent, professionally trained mediator helps you and your ex to work out an agreement about issues such as:

  • arrangements for children after you break up (sometimes called residence or contact)
  • child maintenance payments
  • finances (for example, what to do with your house, savings, pension, debts).

Many people find that mediation is quicker, less stressful and less expensive than going to court. And often, judges will ask you to consider mediation before they will hear your case in court.

A mediator helps you and your ex come to an agreement without being on anyone's 'side'. They can also ensure that the views of children are heard too, if appropriate.

Mediation is free for people who qualify for legal aid. You can check if you qualify on the gov.uk legal aid checker.

If mediation isn't for you, there are other alternatives to court, including collaborative practice and family arbitration.

To find a Resolution-trained mediator, collaborative practitioner or family lawyer using our Find a Member directory. You can also find out more about mediation, including where your local mediators are from the Family Mediation Council website.

Parenting Plan

A Parenting Plan can help you and your ex work out arrangements for your children after you split up. It helps you to put the best interests of your children first and to set out a shared commitment to your children.

Your Plan will help you work out the practical decisions about children’s care in areas such as communication, living arrangements, money, religion, education, health care, and emotional well-being.

The Parenting Plan is available online, in print, or as a pdf. 

Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP)

The Separated Parents Information Programme is a course that helps you as parents to identify what your children need during or after your divorce or separation. This isn’t a course that teaches parenting skills, and you don't attend the course with your ex. Instead, you will go as individuals to different sessions to find out practical ways you and your ex can make arrangements for your children without conflict.

In some areas the courses are free to attend. Contact your local provider for more information. 

If you would like more information about the course, Cafcass has created a factsheet, which summarises the programme.