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By Liz Bell, solicitor

Cohabiting couple families remain the fastest growing relationship in the UK, but many mistakenly believe that they have the same legal rights as married couples in critical areas such as savings, income, pensions or business interests.

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By Peter Jones

Tens of thousands of teenagers across the UK have finished their mock GCSEs and now begin the nail biting countdown to the real exams in May.  (more…)

For children Christmas should be a magical and exciting time, full of anticipation and fun, from the school nativity and concerts, to the putting up of the tree and the wait for Father Christmas.

For parents, especially those who have separated from their partners, it can also be a very difficult and stressful time, with the added financial pressure that Christmas brings along  with having to deal with the practicalities of sharing the children’s time over the holiday period.

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By Chris Sherwood

Chris Sherwood, Director of Policy and Research, Relate

Deciding to separate or divorce is never easy and new research on family mediation services published by Relate earlier this year shows that things are becoming even harder.  (more…)

Ruth Sutherland, Chief Executive, Relate

Last week was a busy one for the UK’s leading relationship support organisation, Relate. Whether or not the first working Monday of January should really be called ‘divorce day’, we consistently see a sharp spike in calls to our helpline number in January, and this year was no exception – calls increased by 53% on the first Monday of January 2014 compared with the first Monday of December 2013, with appointment bookings increasing by 86%. In light of this, we have launched our new ‘Being Parents Apart’ campaign to raise awareness of the range of support services we offer parents and families who are going through divorce or separation.

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Guest blog by Dave Cousins, Manager, The Grandparents’ Association Leeds

The Grandparents’ Association nationally has been working with – and for – grandparents to achieve positive outcomes for their grandchildren for decades.

Set up in 1987 by a group of grandparents whose grandchildren had been put into care, adopted from care or were not allowed any contact with them, it has grown into a thriving national charity, with around 1,000 members nationwide made up of grandparents and organisations.

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Guest blog from Francine Kaye

Francine Kaye is the UK’s leading relationship educator who is regularly called on by national TV and radio for her expertise and advice for couples.

Divorced 19 years ago with two small children aged 5 and 8, Francine experienced at first hand the challenges of an uncertain future as single parent and it was, she says, often scary.

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Kids in the Middle is a new national charity being set up in collaboration between young people and family lawyers and mediators, with one purpose: to provide online support and help for children caught in the fallout of separation and divorce.

By the time they are 16 nearly half of all children will be affected by their parents separating.  Sadly, over the last two years three on-line supports for such children have closed down leaving ‘kids in the middle’ vulnerable and often with nowhere to turn for help.

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