Family and relationships

Our relationships with partners, friends and family can be very rewarding but also complicated and occasionally difficult. This section helps you with a variety of problems including separation, bereavement and children.


This section provides a guide to when and how you register a birth and information about changing your name.

Birth Certificates

For information about birth certificates including: information on registering births, types of birth certificates, and obtaining copies of birth certificates, click here

Change of name

For information about how to change the name of both children and adults and when evidence of a name change may be needed, click here


This section provides information about the legal differences between relationships and information on forced marriages.

For guidance on money in a relationship, check out our MANAGING YOUR MONEY section

Living Together and Marriage: What's the Difference?

Read information that explains the legal differences between being married and living together. In England and Wales, this covers same-sex partners who can now get married. It does not cover civil partnerships.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Living Together and Civil Partnerships: What’s the Difference?

Read information about the legal differences between civil partnerships and living together. The information applies only to same-sex couples.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Marriages and Civil Partnerships in the UK

Read a guide to getting married or forming a civil partnership. Covers civil and religious marriage ceremonies in England and Wales, where they may take place, legal rules, and what documents you need.

Find out more information here

Forced Marriage

Forced marriage is when you face physical pressure to marry (e.g. threats, physical violence or sexual violence) or emotional and psychological pressure (e.g. if you’re made to feel like you’re bringing shame on your family).

Find out information on what to do here


This section provides information on child maintenance, child care and contact with children. Links are provided for help if a child is in local authority care. 

For information on financing child care you may wish to visit our MANAGING YOUR MONEY and BENEFITS sections


Adoption Services in Stockton are now run through Adoption Tees Valley, a regional agency and Local Authority service delivered through collaboration between Stockton, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Darlington and Redcar & Cleveland councils. 

Read more information  here
Source: Adoption Tees Valley

Child Maintenance

There may be different options available to arrange financial support for the children following the breakdown of a relationship. Parents can make a family-based arrangement or they can ask for maintenance to be arranged through a statutory scheme.

Find out your options here 
Source: Citizens Advice

Childcare Options

Local information on where to go for childcare in Stockton-on-Tees can be found here
Source: Stockton Information Directory

Child Maintenance Service

The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) is the government’s statutory child maintenance service. The CMS can calculate and collect child maintenance for you, and can act as a trusted third party if you don’t want any contact with the other parent of your child.

Find out more information here

Advice for Fathers Not Living with Their Child was established in 2008 and provides impartial advice and information for fathers without main care. To find out how to manage your CMS case - including how to avoid debt and legal action - click here

Children in Local Authority Care

Information on matters regarding Local Authority care for children in Stockton is available here
Source: Stockton Borough Council

Fostering in Stockton-on-Tees

Fostering is about caring for children and young people in your own home. There are around 230 children and young people being looked after in Stockton by foster carers. Many of these children will eventually return to their family; in some cases this may take a matter of days or weeks, in others it may take much longer and the children could be living with their foster carer for a year or more.

Read more information here
Source: Stockton Borough Council

Support for Children

Children need to be safe and feel confident that the adult world understands their needs and recognises their vulnerabilities. For children and young people who need some support, a multi-agency approach is usually best based on a Early Help Assessment.

For more information click here
Source: Stockton Borough Council

Parenting Advice and Support

For a list of organisations that can support and advise you as a parent, click here
Source: Stockton Information Directory



Advice for Those Under 25

For information on the rights of children and young people on family matters including adoption, getting married and the rights of parents under 16 click here
Source: Citizens Advice


Advice for Grandparents

Information on contact with grandchildren and support for those who are caring for grandchildren can be found here
Source: Kinship


This section includes links for help with domestic violence, abuse against older people, child abuse and other forms of abuse.

Please click on the links below to be taken to your desired section. 


Support for Children

Childline is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of 19.

Find out more information here
Source: Childline

Information on Child Abuse

You may be a child who’s being abused, or you may be someone who’s concerned that a child is being abused. The link explains what child abuse is and tell you where to go for support. It also explains what steps the police and social workers can take to protect a child.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Who to Inform in Stockton-on-Tees

The work to protect children from abuse and neglect is overseen by Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Safeguarding Children Partnership (HSSCP) . This link takes you to Stockton Borough Council’s website and gives you details on who you can speak to.

Find out more information here
Source: Stockton Borough Council


What is Domestic Abuse?

Read information about the many different forms of domestic abuse and violence including: the official definition of domestic abuse, the signs of domestic abuse, and how common it is.

Find out more information here
Source: Women's Aid

Recognising Domestic Abuse

Read a list of questions to help you tell if you are experiencing domestic abuse here
Source: Women's Aid

How Can I Help a Friend or Family Member Who is Experiencing Domestic Abuse?

There are some basic steps that you can take to assist and give support to a friend, family member, colleague, neighbour or anyone you know who confides in you that they are experiencing domestic abuse.

Find out more information here
Source: Women's Aid

Children and Young People Understanding Domestic Abuse

Women's Aid have created this space to help children and young people to understand domestic abuse, and how to take positive action if it's happening to you.

Find out more information here
Source: Women's Aid

Men Experiencing Domestic Abuse

Domestic Violence and Domestic Abuse – is not just about physical abuse  – it also includes emotional and psychological, coercive control and isolating people.

Most men do not believe or feel they are a victim until sometime after they have lost control of their life and have become isolated. One survivor said they felt they were being ‘groomed’. Remember though you are not to blame, you are not weak and your are not alone. There is help available and you (and your children) can escape.

Information for men experiencing domestic abuse can be found here and here
Sources: ManKind, Respect

Your Options if You are in an Abusive Relationship

Read advice and information about practical matter such as your housing options and details of organisations that can help here
Source: Citizens Advice

Domestic Abuse in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Communities

Information for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans communities on domestic abuse can be found here.
Source: Galop

Honour-Based Abuse

Honour-based abuse is defined as an incident or crime which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community.

Further information and advice on what to do if you have experienced this can be found here
Source: Halo


Help if You Have Been Raped

Information about how to get help if you've experienced sexual violence can be found here
Source: Rape Crisis

Help if You Have Been Raped or Experienced Sexual Violence

SARC Teesside provides men, women and children who have experienced rape or sexual assault either recently or in the past help, support and options across the Teesside area.
Click here to find out more

Source: SARC

Female Genital Mutilation

FGM is an unnecessary and illegal practice that causes significant physical, mental and emotional harm.

Find out what FGM is and where to find help if you or someone you know is at risk of having FGM here
Source: NHS


Protecting Yourself and Others from Abuse

Information on elder abuse, how to recognise it, and what to if you feel you have been abused can be found here
Source: Age UK


Please look under HELPFUL TOOLS for leaflets on Human Trafficking.

Human Trafficking is the acquisition of people by force, fraud or deception with the aim of exploiting them. 

For information on safe houses and support click here

Source: Salvation Army


This section provides guidance to links that can help you through a divorce or separation including a divorce and separation calculator. 

For guidance on money when you separate or divorce check out our MANAGING YOUR MONEY section.

Please click on the links below to be taken to your desired section. 


This link is for you if you have recently split up or are struggling to agree with your ex-partner (or another family member) about what’s going to happen to your home, money, children or any other issues. This link provides a guide which explains what family mediation is and how it could help you.

Find the link here
Source: Advice Now


Information on the practical matters to sort out including custody of children, possessions, property and the divorce process can be found here
Source: Citizens Advice


A civil partnership is a legally-registered relationship between two people of the same sex. Usually a court order is needed to dissolve the relationship.

Find out information and advice on what to do here
Source: Citizens Advice


This link provides information that applies if you want to split up with someone you're living with. It applies whether you're heterosexual, gay or lesbian. It's not for people who are married or in a civil partnership.

Find the link here
Source: Advice Now


This link helps you to work out your housing rights if your relationship breaks down. It includes information for couples who own their home and those who rent. It also covers some common questions about the family home when a relationship breaks down.

Find the link here
Source: Citizens Advice


This tool will help you work out a budget, work out what you have and what you owe and create scenarios for dividing what you have.

Find the tool here
Source: Money Helper


Cafcass helps children and young people who are going through care or adoption proceedings, or whose parents have separated and are unable to agree about future arrangements for their children. Cafcass is the voice of children in the family courts and helps to ensure that children’s welfare is put first during proceedings. 

For more information on the service, and some useful guides for parents, children and teenagers, click here
Source: Cafcass


Applying For Divorce

The link below leads you to a guide which describes, from start to finish, the process for applying for a divorce without a solicitor. The guide deals only with the divorce - not with the two related areas of financial settlements and child contact and residence.

Find out more information here
Source: Wikivorce

Financial Settlements and Divorce

At the time of divorce or separation it is very important that you both agree and sign a legally binding financial agreement. The link below gives you more information on the law, a step by step guide through the process and information on agreements.

Find out more information here
Source: Wikivorce

Applying for a Court Order About the Arrangements for Your Children Without the Help of a Lawyer

This guide is for you if you are a parent and you disagree with your child’s other parent or other family members about things such as where your child lives, who they live with and when or how often they see the parent they don’t live with.

View the guide here 
Source: Advice Now

Divorce Court Forms

Links and guides to the forms needed for divorce proceedings can be found here
Source: Wikivorce


This section provides links to guidance on powers of attorney. 

There is further guidance on looking after someone else’s finances under MANAGING YOUR MONEY. There is also further information on support for carers under our HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE section

Caring for Someone

Read information about advice and a support services for those who are carers here
Source: Carers UK

Managing Someone’s Affairs

This document has information for people who want to manage someone else's affairs. It also has information if you want someone else to manage your affairs for you.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Lasting Power of Attorney

The Office of the Public Guardian is responsible for, registering lasting power of attorneys, appointing and supervising deputies, making sure an attorney or deputy is carrying out their duties properly and deals with complaints and objections about attorneys and deputies.

Find out more information here


This section provides links that explain how to make arrangements after a death, how to distribute an estate, and what to do if someone has not written a will.

There is information about paying for a funeral in our MANAGING YOUR MONEY section. Information about assistance through the benefit system is available under the BENEFITS (Social Fund) section of this site. Information on dealing with someone’s debts after they have died is in our DEBT section. If you feel you need support with a bereavement, you will find links to useful groups under our HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE section (under Healthcare).

What to Do When Someone Dies

Find out what you need to do after someone has died, including who to inform and how to arrange the funeral here
Source: Citizens Advice


Information about making a will, free will-writing services and how to change, challenge or destroy a will.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Intestacy: What to Do if There is No Will

When a person dies without leaving a valid will, their property (the estate) must be shared out according to certain rules.

Find out further information on those rules here
Source: Citizens Advice

How to Sort Out the Financial Affairs of Someone Who has Died

Information on sorting out debts, money and property after someone has died can be found here
Source: Citizens Advice


We have provided a variety of tools below to help you with your problem but if you still need help, you can click on FIND LOCAL AGENCIES WHO CAN HELP YOU for information about local agencies who may be able to assist you further.

Please click on the links below to be taken to your desired section. 


Child Maintenance Calculator

If you’re trying to agree on an amount for your family-based arrangement, this calculator can give you an indication of the amount that you could expect to pay or receive.

Find the calculator here


Child Maintenance

For a printable guide to Child Maintenance, click here

Three steps to avoiding domestic violence

Links to PDFs in English and translations into 12 other languages. The leaflet explains how to get help to escape violence and abuse, and keep safe. It focuses on issues faced by black and minority ethnic women and children, but it contains information which can be used to help victims of domestic and sexual violence from any nationality or ethnic background.

Find the leaflet here

Office of the Public Guardian

Forms and Guidance from the Office of the Public Guardian can be found here

Guidance for People Wanting to Manage a Bank Account for Someone Else

This guidance explains how a person can manage another person’s affairs, including their bank- or building society account There is also a link to some of the forms you may have to complete.

Find out more information here
Source: Citizens Advice

Easy Read Information on Abuse

The link below provides a choice of leaflets which have been written specially for people with learning disabilities.

Find the leaflets here
Source: Easy Health

Court Action

This series of leaflets takes you step-by-step through the issues and options.

View the leaflets here
Source: Advice Now

A Survival Guide to Divorce and Dissolution

This guide will explain how divorce and dissolution of civil partnerships work, what you can expect, what you need to think about, what the law says, how to come to agreements, and what help is out there to help you plan for the future.

View the guide here
Source; Advice Now

Sorting Out Arrangements for Your Children - a Survival Guide

This guide is for parents who do not live together and need to make arrangements for their children.

View the guide here
Source: Advice Now

Human Trafficking

A leaflet outlining the support available for victims of human trafficking is available in 11 foreign languages.

View the guide here



Find frequently asked questions about family and relationship matters here
Source: Citizens Advice

Find frequently asked questions about divorce proceedings here
Source: Wikivorce 


Action on Elder Abuse
Action on Elder Abuse (AEA) works to protect, and prevent the abuse of, vulnerable older adults. The helpline provides information, advice and support to victims and others who are concerned about or have witnessed abuse
Telephone: 0808 808 8141

Broken Rainbow
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* (LGBT) Domestic Violence Helpline provides confidential support to all members of the LGBT communities, their family, friends, and agencies supporting them. The helpline is run by trained LGBT people and provides a space where you can talk through what is going on, and explore your options.
Telephone: 0300 999 5428

Carers UK
An advice line giving information and support for carers
Telephone: 0808 808 7777

Citizens Advice
Advice by phone is available from Citizens Advice
Telephone: 0808 278 7986

Cruse Bereavement Care
A support line if you need help after someone has died
Telephone: 0844 477 9400

Bliss - for babies born premature or sick

The Bliss helpline is a UK wide confidential telephone service that offers a listening ear, emotional support and information to families whose baby is in or has been in neonatal care. 
Telephone : 0808 801 0322

Karma Nirvana
Supporting victims of honour crimes and forced marriages 
Telephone: 0800 599 9247

Men’s Adviceline
Advice and support for men experiencing domestic violence
Telephone: 0808 801 0327

ManKind Helpline

Telephone: 01823 334 244

National Domestic Violence Helpline
The National Domestic Violence Helpline is a freephone 24 hour helpline which provides advice and support to women and can refer them to emergency accommodation.
Telephone: 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)

National Stalking Helpline:
The National Stalking Helpline provides guidance and information to anybody who is currently or has previously been affected by harassment or stalking.
Telephone: 0808 802 0300

Rape Crisis
If you don't feel like talking to a friend or family member yet, call the Rape Crisis National Helpline
Telephone: 0808 802 9999

Respect Helpline
Confidential helpline offering advice, information and support to help you stop being violent and abusive to your partner
Telephone: 0808 802 4040

Wikivorce Divorce Advice Helpline
Free advice on divorce and separation
Telephone: 01202 805 020



Action on Elder Abuse

Action on Elder Abuse (AEA) works to protect, and prevent the abuse of, vulnerable older adults


Advicenow is an independent, not-for-profit website, run by the charity Law for Life: the Foundation for Public Legal Education.

Broken Rainbow

Broken Rainbow is the first and only UK organisation dedicated to confronting and eliminating domestic violence and abuse within and against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans communities.


Cafcass helps children and young people who are going through care or adoption proceedings, or whose parents have separated and are unable to agree about future arrangements for their children. Cafcass is the voice of children in the family courts and helps to ensure that children’s welfare is put first during proceedings.


ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of nineteen.

Citizens Advice

The Adviceguide website is the main public information service of Citizens Advice, providing people with round-the-clock access to CAB information on their rights - including benefits, housing and employment, and on debt, consumer and legal issues. is a website offering support and information to fathers who do not live with their children

The websites of all government departments and many other agencies and public bodies

Grandparents Association

The Grandparent's Association has been working with and for grandparents to achieve positive outcomes for their grandchildren for decades.

Karma Nirvana

Karma Nirvana is a UK registered Charity that supports victims and survivors of Forced Marriage and Honour Based Abuse.

NHS Choices

Everything you need to know about NHS Choices, its services and how to get the most out of it.

Rape Crisis

Rape Crisis England & Wales is a national charity and the umbrella body for our network of independent member Rape Crisis organisations


Respect is the UK membership organisation for work with domestic violence perpetrators, male victims and young people

Stockton Borough Council

The Local Authority site for Stockton on Tees

Stockton Information Directory

Local information directory from Stockton Borough Council

Womens Aid

Women's Aid is the key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children.