Support for separating parents

If the parents’ relationship as a couple has gotten worse or ended, usually their relationship as parents remains. Parents have a responsibility to solve their disagreements (if necessary with the help of specialists) while avoiding involving their child in their fights and searching for solutions which ensure the child’s well-being.

Family mediation

If the separating or divorcing parents are not able to come to an agreement on how to raise their child and organise their life in the future, it is beneficial to consult a family mediator.

The mediator supports the disagreeing partners as an impartial third party. During the process, the parties have the opportunity to understand each other’s needs and standpoints and find solutions that satisfy both parties out of court. The solutions can be worded as joint agreements with the help of the mediator. When making agreements the mediator helps the parties keep their focus on their children’s needs.

The aim of the service is not the continuation of the parents’ relationship but finding solutions based on the children’s needs in case of separation.

During family mediation, the following topics are usually addressed:

  • caring for and raising the children
  • taking care of the children
  • the children’s place of residence and everyday life after the parents’ separation
  • joint home and property after a divorce
  • all other possible disagreements within the family or issues related to separation or living separately

The service is provided to residents of Tallinn who have a referral from a child protection worker from that district and whose income doesn’t allow them to consult a private legal family mediator

Organisation of communication with a parent that lives separately

It is important for a child to have communication with both parents. If the child’s communication with one parent has stopped and it is difficult for the parents to improve the situation, it is possible to get help from the service for organising communication with the parent that lives separately.

The aim of the service is to help the child maintain or restore immediate contact with the parent that lives separately from them. During the service the child meets the parents on a neutral ground and two social workers take part in the meeting to support the child and the parents in renewing and improving their relationship The aim of the service is to restore the relationship of the child and the parent in a way that they can continue their communication outside of the family centre, either as an agreement between the parents or based on communication procedure.

Content of the service:

  • the child is ensured a safe and supportive environment
  • the parent receives counselling and help with making contact with their child and involving the child in age-appropriate activities
  • communication between the child and the parent is monitored
  • if the parent does not value the child’s needs, safety or mood adequately, doesn’t interact with the child appropriately or pressures the child emotionally, the meetings are intervened in or stopped
  • if necessary and if possible, the parent raising the child is involved and they are given feedback about the meeting

Support groups for separating or separated parents (Children’s Foundation)

Once a month, the Children’s Foundation organises free group counselling for separating or separated parents and offers individual family counselling. More information can be found on their website. Parents can register for the service of their own accord.

  • Where to start

    Go to the social welfare department of the city district government in your place of residence.

    For contact information, choose institution from the list:

  • Providers   Service providing location