Do you need to find out about divorce or separation issues?
Help is now at hand with the launch of Divorce Aid, a new and extensive self-help and support website. Don't expect the normal legal jargon and sales promotions; this site is quite different. It is not written by lawyers but by people who have been through the process themselves with expert legal guidance in all areas. Do expect original artwork, numerous quotations and poems. Above all, it aims to reduce the conflict and distress associated with the divorce process, thus enabling families to minimise legal costs.
"I felt as if I had a friend to talk to and found the site comforting and informative. My children used it too."
Divorce Aid not only deals with the usual legal and financial issues but also tackles emotions, children, health and life after divorce. From distress to recovery, you are not alone and it will get better. Each of these six sections includes a selection of articles, a Letters Page, personally reviewed books, and a pop-up "Who can help" section with direct links to numerous agencies and helplines. Don't worry as each link has been personally tested and reviewed so that you are not directed to poor or irrelevant sites.
" "In times of distress, people need to feel confident they are being given accurate and relevant information," says Christina Tait, the site's editor.
With "resident" experts such as a senior psychotherapist, a family GP, financial advisers, an entrepreneurial guru, expert family lawyers, life coaches and the inimitable Barefoot Doctor, Divorce Aid guides families through the following six areas:
Emotional Aid -Is your marriage really over? Here you are helped to stand back and assess your situation and decide what is best for your family. Counselling is at hand either face to face, by phone or email. If these steps do not save your marriage, you are guided through the next steps by looking at emotions and how to end the marriage so as to achieve a peaceful closure. You can write to the site's resident therapist and hear from the Barefoot Doctor – "The separation hit me so hard I nearly lost my sanity altogether and it took me a good three months to stabilise myself. I mention this because it makes obvious how it's not the separation that traumatises you, it's what it makes you see in yourself." There's also a poem from Sophie Hannah and a selection of personally reviewed books with direct links to Amazon.co.uk
Child Aid – Hands on information for parents with a site for children and an innovative site just for teenagers. "I thought I was really alone until I logged on to the teenage site", says Tom, "It helped me to sort through a lot of problems and I knew there was always someone to talk to." Seeing things through the eyes of a child is the site's philosophy. Here you will find thought – provoking articles for parents and children together with examples of parenting guides and 24hour helplines. Again, you are linked to useful sites and services. Books are reviewed for children and young adults according to age and there are some excellent ones for parents. "Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children always and forever explaining things to them." Antoine de Saint-Exupery "Le Petit Prince" 1943.
Health Aid – Have you found yourself again? Did you disappear in the marriage or just become someone else, someone others wanted you to be? Well, that's OK as now you have time to be yourself. Think back to when you were single. What made you happy? Who were your friends? How did you feel? Divorce Aid examines mind, body and soul issues, from feelings about sex to depression, with ideas for coping with this change and we hear again from the Barefoot Doctor. "He who has health has hope and he who has hope, has everything." Proverb.
Legal Aid – A guide to the divorce system in England and Wales, written in a sympathetic, non-legal manner. This section will help you to find a qualified family law solicitor, teach you how to handle him, and show you how to keep costs down. It will also help you to make a short-term plan, overcome difficulties such as problems regarding children, and reach a settlement. Court documents can be downloaded free of charge and there are many free and professional sources of advice. Only one book is highlighted here and it is worth its weight in gold. "Failure is delay but not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end street." William Arthur Ward.
Financial Aid – Looks at issues from the courts' viewpoint and provides a concise guide to the CSA. It shows you how to make a short-term plan, draw up a budget, and how to cope with debts, pensions and settlements. "Heaven never helps the individual who will not act." Sophocles. It also puts you in touch with people who can help with financial planning, benefits, problems with housing and debts. "Love flies out the window when poverty comes through the door." Old English proverb.
Moving On – Focuses on issues after divorce such as dating again, new families, work, and training and finances. The accent here is on personal stories and the future. The site's life coach and business guru are available to assist you as you contemplate life after divorce.
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."
T. S. Eliot
Divorce Aid's web address is www.divorceaid.co.uk