Helping Your Child Through a Separation


Parenting NI has been a leading organisation for supporting parents in Northern Ireland since 1979. 

In a guest blog for Life Law NI, Emma Lyttle from Parenting NI provides us with some information on how parents can help their child(ren) through relationship breakdown.


In the UK, it is estimated that more that 40% of marriages will ultimately end in divorce, leaving more than one in four children experiencing divorce by the age of 16*

All parents will be concerned about the effect any separation will have on their children.  Even if both parents mutually agreed on the separation, it will still be difficult to cope.  Separation is an upsetting and confusing time for parents and children.  It can be a time of stress and anxiety with voices being raised and feelings reaching boiling point.

Regardless of a child’s age, they are likely to experience similar emotions to their parents, although express them in a different way.  Some of the reactions to separation children may experience include feeling angry, guilty, a conflict of loyalty between their parents, denial, and mood changes, tantrums, health or school problems.

Talking with your children is vital during the separation process.  Children need to be told where each parent will be living, how contact will be maintained with their non-resident parent, and that mummy and daddy still love them and will continue to be there for them. 

Having access to both parents and trying to maintain a routine will help your children to adapt to the initial changes.  Acknowledge that it is okay to feel sad or angry and help your children to find healthy ways to express their emotions.  Reassure your children that the separation is not their fault and explain that they cannot fix or change what is happening in the family.  Above all, try to shield your children from any arguments as children experience parental conflict as stressful and upsetting.

The whole family is going to need time to adapt to the changes so try to take one step at a time and don’t be too hard on yourself.  Talking about your feelings with a family member or friend, whom you trust, will help to reduce your feelings of isolation.





*Information taken from Office of National Statistics


LIFE BITE: Increase in Immigration Appeal Tribunal fees

apple-150579_1280As of 10th October 2016, it now costs £800.00 to lodge an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal against an immigration decision if an oral hearing is requested. Previously the fee was £140.00.  That reflects an increase of over 500%.

The new fees will apply where the decision that is the subject of appeal is taken on or after 10th October 2016.

This change in the law was brought about by The First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Fees (Amendment) Order 2016.  It will increase the already significant financial burden on people to secure their residence rights in the UK.

The Home Office makes decisions on a variety of applications relating to foreign and European nationals who wish to come to or remain in the UK either permanently or for a defined period of time.  The Home Office also deals with applications made for asylum in the UK.  If a person’s application to come to or remain in the UK is refused, they have the right to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) within a strict time limit.

An individual has the right to appeal  number of decisions, including the following:-

  • An asylum or humanitarian protection claim
  • A human rights claim,
  • A refusal to issue a residence card under the European Economic Area (EEA) Regulations,
  • A decision to deport
  • A decision to revoke protection status or a decision to revoke British citizenship.

Now that there has been a significant increase in the appeal fee, many people with genuine grounds of appeal may be deterred from doing so simply because they cannot afford the fee.

An individual will have to pay the appeal fee upfront.  Waiting times for hearing dates before the First Tier Tribunal are currently in excess of 12 months.  If the appeal is successful, then an individual can recoup the fee however, they will be waiting some time to recover the cost and will only recover it on the basis that their appeal is successful.

There are exceptions to paying the appeal fee and individuals considering appealing should seek legal advice quickly.

If you require further information on Immigration Law in the UK and the appeal process, please contact us here or email or call 02890243901