news pic


Parenting Apart groups

Splitting up? Living Apart? Divorcing? Separating?

Do you want to know how to help your children through it all?

A Parenting Apart Information Session is an opportunity for you to learn how you and your children can move forward positively.

You will gain insight into what you and your family are going through and how to handle the transition to living apart in a way that’s best for everyone.

Parenting Apart Sessions generally last for 3 hours. They are for groups of mums and dads, and they may also be available on a one to one basis. The facilitators are experienced family support professionals who will explain what your children need from you and their other parent. Parents who have separated always go to different groups.

If you want to find out more about how to put your children first then contact Family Mediation Lothian on to find out the latest dates, times, locations and find out how to book a place at the next available session.


Frequently Asked Questions

How many sessions are there and how long do they last?

Parents generally attend one three-hour session, or a shorter session if on a one-to-one basis. We aim to offer two group sessions around the same time, with one during the day and one in the evening, to give both parents the chance to go to different groups.

Will my ex-partner be at the same group?

Parents who have separated generally go to different groups.

Will there be both dads and mums at each group?

Yes, we try to make sure that the groups are mixed so that a range of views are included.

Is this service available to single parents?

Yes, single parents are welcome to attend. The sessions focus on the separation process, how children might respond and how to communicate effectively with the other parent. You can decide whether this would be helpful for you.

Will I have to talk about my situation?

There will be opportunities for discussion and for parents to share how they are managing living apart from their child’s other parent. It is up to you what or how much you say. Everyone who attends is asked to treat the session as confidential.

Who leads the sessions?

Parenting Apart sessions are run by experienced family mediators or people who have had other experience in working with separating families. The content and structure of the sessions have been developed by Relationships Scotland with input from many trusted sources including similar initiatives in other countries.

When is the right time to attend?

You can come along to a Parenting Apart session at any stage – before, during or a long time after your separation. Any time that you think it would help you to find out how to improve the situation for you and your children.

How does a Parenting Apart group compare with mediation?

At a Parenting Apart group, you can get information and hear from other people. In mediation, you and your child’s other parent meet with a mediator to talk about your situation and agree how you want to move forward. Many parents find that after attending a Parenting Apart session they have a better understanding of what their children need and they can then work out their plans for the future better with the other parent in mediation.

What does it cost?

There is no charge to attend a Parenting Apart session. The Scottish Government supports this service through a Strategic Funding Partnership Grant.

After I’ve been to a Parenting Apart session, what other help is available?

The pack that you get at the session includes suggestions for sources of further help. You may want to ask about the mediation service.

I don’t see my children at all at the moment. Can I still come to the session?

Yes, you will almost certainly hear something useful.