Family Matters has now been up and running in Newcastle for a year and has so far helped over 150 parents across the region gain information and support to help them through their separation.

We have had some really positive feedback about how the service has helped parents over the last 12 months.  98% of those who have used the service said they found the information and support beneficial, and 78% said they felt better able to take action after seeing a Family Matters Guide.

Family Matters is a free face to face service which provides tailored legal information and support to separating or separated parents.  The service is run by Resolution and delivered by Family Matters Guides who are experienced solicitors and trained mediators.

Anyone who is in receipt of a benefit other than child benefit (including Tax Credits) or the living wage (currently £7.65) per hour) who has dependent children are eligible to use the free service which is based at the offices of David Gray Solicitors.  We can help not only Newcastle residents but parents from across the North East and due to the central location of the service we have so far helped parents from Blyth to Peterlee.

At Family Matters we recognise that no two families are the same and that going through, or adjusting to a separation, can be an extremely difficult and challenging time for the whole family.  It is normal to feel overwhelmed and at a loss as to how to move forward and this is where Family Matters can help.

We have so far provided legal information on a wide range of issues such as divorce, arrangements for the children, ability to gain protective Orders for domestic abuse victims, financial settlements, and child maintenance.  We have also helped parents to access support in their local community for housing, debt, addiction, relationship and individual counselling, domestic abuse, parenting skills and welfare benefit issues.  We have put in place tailored action plans with parents to help them tackle their situations in a structured and manageable way.

We can work with one or both parents together and have held joint meetings with parents, having seen parents individually first, where we have felt it is appropriate and both parents have agreed.  We provide support and information on an impartial basis and our focus throughout is to try and help the parents we work with achieve independence by giving them the knowledge and tools they need to make decisions which are best for their family.

If you or anyone you know could benefit from some support and guidance around issues arising out of a separation contact Amy or Claire now on 0191 2302138. You can also follow us at @FamilyMattersDG