Sharon Hodgson MP

Working hard for Washington and Sunderland West.

Family issues advice

Advice for constituents on family matters

Family issues

Should you separate from your partner, you may need to sort out arrangements, such as:

- Where you will live.
- Where your children will live.
- How often the children will stay with the other parent.
- How much child maintenance should be paid.

Some breakups may be amicable, and agreements can be reached easily.  Other separations may require support from professionals.

If you can’t agree with your ex-partner, you should try mediation to see if you can reach an agreement.

You can find out more about how mediation works in this leaflet:

Ministry of Justice - Sorting out family disputes without going through court - leaflet


Find your nearest family mediator on the > Family Mediation Council website. (


If you can’t reach an agreement through mediation you should talk to a solicitor, to find your nearest solicitor please use >
The Law Society search tool. (

It is important that both parents meet their obligations to contribute towards the cost of bringing up their children.

Child maintenance

Child maintenance is incredibly important in improving the livelihoods of so many children.

Some parents may be able to agree on the amount of maintenance between themselves.  This is known as a private arrangement.

You can use the child maintenance calculator on GOV UK, to get an idea of
how much maintenance the paying parent should pay.

Should you not be able to agree, or should your agreement break down, you can ask the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) to arrange the maintenance for you.

Please follow this guidance on > applying to the CMS. (

Should you need to talk to a trained adviser about any problems relating to family matters you may wish to contact the following organisations:

- Gingerbread:
- Family Rights Group:
- Coram Child and Family Law:

Gov UK advice

Generally, you can access the UK Government's advice on family matters using the website > UK Government family matters advice (coming soon). (xxxx)

Disclaimer - While reasonable efforts have been made to supply credible organisations' websites, Sharon Hodgson is not responsible for their content and their use is entirely your own decision.

If you are able to provide any updated information on these resources, Please email: [email protected]

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