The north east is the first region to benefit from an innovative new helpline launched to support parents who are having relationship issues.
The NTW Support 4 Separated Parents (S4SP) helpline will offer advice on services available to parents who are separating or have separated without the intervention of court to resolve disputes.
Headed up by Hazel Hedley, S4SP will initially run as a pilot and if successful will be extended and identified as an example which could be adopted nationally.
Hazel said: “It is a fact that the separation of parents is increasing, and it is part of modern Britain. It has been for many years now.
“What is changing is the way as a parent separating you can handle it for the good of the children and the family unit.
“Gone are the days where court is the only option.
“Court is costly, can cause issues to be unresolved, and is not really putting the child/children’s best interest at heart.
“Our helpline will outline other options. Mediation, support with contact, counselling and many more options are available.
“On hearing about your situation, advice and guidance will be given on a host of options for dispute resolution other than family court.”
NTW Support 4 Separated Parents Helpline is available from 11am to 7pm on 0333 200 0722.
If the phone line is engaged or a caller needs to speak to someone outside of these hours, you can leave a confidential message with your number and when it is suitable to call you back.