How to help a friend or family member through a separation or divorce
When a friend or family member separates from their partner, it can be hard to know what to say or do. No separation is the same but it can be tempting to project our own experiences, as well as to give our own opinions or advice. Misplaced advice can have an unhelpful effect on people’s ability to adapt to the breakup, and may also negatively impact their wellbeing.
How we approach a conversation about separation, the advice we give, and the environment we create can shape whether a couple separates amicably and whether they build positive futures apart, or go through an acrimonious separation. This kind of separation could negatively impact them, their children and their wider family or social group.
It’s hard to know what to say and it’s not something we usually talk about. So, in our guide, we’ll look at the tools available that can help you support a friend or family member going through separation, divorce or parenting apart.
The topics the guide covers are:
- Are they safe?
- Is it over, should I leave?
- “We’re separating”: the basics and what to say
- The legal process
- Practical ways you can help
- What if their separation isn’t amicable?
- “Do you feel okay?”
We hope you’ve found this guide and the resources within it useful and that as a society, we are able to create an environment where everybody is able to end relationships in a kinder and better way.
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