If you don’t live with your children

Date last updated: 19 October 2017

Information

This information is for parents whose children don’t live with them for most of the time. This could be due to a separation, or you may never have lived with your child’s other parent.

Below are details of organisations that can help you with important issues such as reaching agreements with your child’s other parent, making arrangements for your children, responsibility for child maintenance, getting
legal help and getting help for yourself or for your child.

The majority of Gingerbread’s factsheets are written for the parent who has the child living with them most of the time, but you may find that the following factsheets contain information that is helpful for you.

Legal information and advice

Advice Now (web only)

An independent, not-for-profit website, run by Law for Life: The Foundation for Public Legal Education, provides information on your rights and the law.

Advice Now

Citizens Advice

Provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues including benefits, debt, housing and consumer rights.

Citizens Advice

Child's Law Advice

Child Law Advice is operated by Coram Children’s Legal Centre. Specialist advice and information on child, family and education law. Applicable only in England.

Child Law Advice

Civil Legal Advice

Can advise on eligibility for legal aid and signpost to local sources of help.

Civil Legal Advice

Families Need Fathers

Information, advice and support services to help parents, and grandparents following parental separation.

Families Need Fathers

Family Rights Group

Confidential advice for parents and other family members if social workers are involved in your child’s life, or you need extra support from children’s services. They also have a parental advocacy project.

Family Rights Group

HM Courts Service

Help to find your local court as well as information, court forms and guidance.

HM Courts Service

Law Society

Use the website to find a solicitor in your area.

Law Society

Resolution

Association of family law solicitors, who adopt a non-confrontational approach to family problems.

They can provide a list of local members. The website has free information on issues such as splitting up, divorce and parenting apart.

Resolution

Reunite

Charity which provides advice, information and support on all issues related to international parental child abduction, prevention of abduction, international contact issues, and cases of permission to remove a child from the country.

Reuinite

Rights of Women

The helpline offers free, confidential legal advice for women. Specialist areas include family law, divorce and relationship breakdown, child arrangement issues and domestic violence.

Rights of Women

Cafcass

Cafcass looks after the interests of children in the family courts. It works with children and their families, then advises the court on what would be in the child’s best interest. The website has information for children, teenagers, parents and carers.

Cafacass

Shelter

Gives details of local housing advice centres
throughout the country and provides information and advice on a range of housing issues.

Shelter

Stonewall

Free information line for individuals, employers and organisations. The website includes information on same sex parenting rights, and local lesbian, gay bisexual and trans support groups and services.

Stonewall

Child support and maintenance

Child Maintenance Options

Information about your options for arranging child maintenance, and making a family-based arrangement.

Child Maintenance Options

Child Support Agency

For questions about existing child support cases

Child Support Agency

Child Maintenance Service

For questions about new child maintenance cases.

Child Maintenance Service

Benefits and tax credits

Child Benefit Helpline

Information on child benefit.

Child Benefit Helpline

Jobcentre Plus

To claim welfare benefits including jobseekers allowance and employment and support allowance.

Jobcentre Plus

Carers Allowance Unit

Benefit enquiries for disabled people and their carers.

Carers Allowance Unit

Attendance allowance

Information on attendance allowance, and how to claim.

Attendance allowance

Personal independence payment

Information on personal independence payment, and how to claim.

Personal independence payment

Disability living allowance

Information on disability living allowance, and how to claim.

Disability living allowance

Tax credit helpline

Information about tax credits.

Tax credit helpline

Universal credit

Universal credit is a new benefit system that is replacing many of the current benefits and tax credits. It is available through Jobcentre Plus in certain areas for people who are making a new claim for benefits.

Universal credit

Mediation

Family Mediation Council

Provides information on family mediation and an online database of family mediators

Family Mediation Council

Family Mediators Association

Provides information on family mediation, and can give information on local mediation services.

Family Mediators Association

National Family Mediation

Can answer general enquiries relating to mediation and put callers in touch with local not-for-profit mediation services.

National Family Mediation

Support for parents and children

Contact a Family

Support for parents and carers of disabled children.

Contact a Family

Dad.info

Advice, information, and a forum for dads.

Dad.info

Family Lives

Provides information and support on all aspects of parenting, including bullying.

Family Lives

MATCH - mothers apart from their children

Charity offering non-judgemental support and information to mothers who are apart from their children.

MATCH - mothers apart from their children

The Parent Connection

The website supports parents through separation and parenting difficulties. There are a range of resources including articles, videos and support to develop a new parenting relationship after separation, along with practical ideas to overcome problems.

The Parent Connection

Men's Advice Line

Confidential helpline for men experiencing domestic abuse. Provides emotional support and practical advice including how to make yourself safer, where to get legal advice, how domestic abuse affects children and information for gay and bisexual men.

Men's Advice Line

National Domestic Violence Helpline

The freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline is run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge. It is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence or their friends and families. A translation service is available.

National Domestic Violence Helpline

Mind

Information and advice on all aspects of mental health including postnatal depression, common signs of different mental health problems, self-help tips, treatment and support.

Mind

National Association of Child Contact Centres

Contact centres allow parents to see their children in a safe and comfortable place. Supervised and supported contact is available. They provide a neutral environment, usually with games and toys available for children.

National Association of Child Contact Centres

Relate

Offers a range of services and provides support at all stages of relationships. Relate also provides a counselling service for children and young people.

Realate

Young Minds

Information for young people and children about mental health and emotional well-being. The parents’ helpline offers free confidential information and advice, to any adult worried about the emotional problems, behaviour, or mental health of a child or young person.

Young Minds

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