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Quarter of parents living with partners ‘secretly consider separation or divorce’

OnePlusOne urges couples to seek early help

A quarter (26%) of British parents who currently live with their partner and children have secretly considered separating from or divorcing their partner, according to new research from relationships support charity OnePlusOne.

The OnePlusOne poll found that although 6 in 10 people in a relationship admit to having experienced relationship problems, a quarter (23%) have never sought help from friends, family or professionals or any other source to help them manage these.

The most often turned-to sources of support are friends (23%), family (16%) and the internet (7%).

Only 4% had sought help or support from a therapist or counsellor in person, and 3% from a support service where somebody is trained to help people or listen.

OnePlusOne Director Penny Mansfield CBE comments:

"People rarely decide to separate or divorce suddenly – often they've been thinking about it for months, if not years.

"Seeking help at an earlier stage – when the first thoughts about separation creep in – can be the first step in resolving problems and make the likelihood of splitting up less likely.

"But for many people, the additional stress of Christmas and the start of the New Year bring these underlying problems to the surface, and they make their final decision to part.

"Separated parents who are able to communicate with one another effectively and are able to work out arrangements about money and the children early on have the best chance of preventing their children becoming stuck in the middle of their disputes.

"Our free website is a good starting point for any parent who is looking for reliable information and support to help their children through this difficult process."

The latest government figures show that more than half (52%) of parents say they find it hard to access the support they need to agree future childcare arrangements when they separate.

OnePlusOne is urging parents who are thinking of separating from their partner, or have already parted, to visit its website and find out more about the free DIY online courses, help and support it offers, which help people reduce the impact of divorce and separation on children. The charity also provides online support to couples who want help to overcome relationship issues and stay together.