I’ve been ordered to attend a Separated Parents Information Programme – What Does This Mean?

A Separated Parents Information Programme (commonly known as a SPIP) is a course which parents can be ordered to attend as part of family Court proceedings regarding their children.

When this is ordered by a Court, it is free to attend and usually lasts in the region of about 4 hours. In some areas courses can even be attended at the weekends so this can be arranged around work commitments. Both parents will be ordered to attend the course. However, you do not have to attend the same session as the other parent, meaning you are free to fully engage with the course material separately.

The purpose of the course is not to tell anyone about how to be a parent but is intended help parents understand how to put their children first, even when they are separating and in dispute with the other parent. The course intends to provide guidance to parents as how to manage any dispute and difficulties when they arise so decisions can be made by parents jointly and in the best interests of the children.

Recent guidance and research tells us that when parents are not able to manage conflict this can lead to parental alienation for a child. This can make a child feel unloved by one parent, mean that they have limited contact or make them feel like they have to choose between their parents. This can lead to issues for the child as they grow older with personal relationships, mental health and their education.

The purpose of the SPIP is to provide helpful guidance to parents to prevent the children from being at any risk of any such harm following the breakdown of their parents’ relationship and to allow parents to minimise conflict, co-parent and to ensure that their children retain their own voice to express their wishes and feelings in the two separate households.

For more information regarding the SPIP please visit https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/grown-ups/parents-and-carers/divorce-and-separation/separated-parents-information-programme/ or contact our experienced family team at McCarthy Bennett Holland who will be pleased to assist.

We offer 30 minutes free initial advice appointments and also offer payment plans. 

Please do not hesitate to contact our family solicitors Gillian Lavelle or Kim Busby if you wish to discuss any of the above further.

www.wigansolicitors.com Tel: 01942 206060 Address: 26 Bridgeman Terrace, Wigan WN1 1TD Twitter: @MBHSolicitors


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