Single Parent Families
The information below comes from the following website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/support-and-services/advice-for-single-parents/
Advice for single parents
If you're bringing up a child on your own, do not be afraid to ask for help from friends and family. You may also find that other single parents are a good source of support.
Finding support as a lone parent
If you do not know people locally, ask your health visitor what local groups are available in your area or contact Gingerbread, a charity for single parent families that can put you in touch with other parents in a similar situation and give you much needed support.
Co-parenting when you live apart
If you'd hoped to bring up your child as a couple, you may be feeling angry and hurt.
But as a lone parent, it's important to hide those feelings from your child and let them build their own relationship with their other parent.
It's usually better for children to see both parents regularly, even if you start new relationships. Of course this does not apply if your ex-partner is violent or abusive towards you or your child.
At first, you may find your child behaves badly when they come home after a visit. Playing up is one way they may let you know they're upset or confused about the situation.
Unless you think something bad may be happening on access visits, the best way to deal with this is to be reassuring and calm. In the end, your child will learn to look forward to visits and coming home.
You'll almost certainly need to talk about your own feelings. Try to find another adult to talk to.
Gingerbread has more advice on making arrangements for your children.
Benefits and child maintenance for single parents
Gingerbread offers free information packs for lone parents. They can also give you independent advice about benefits, housing and child maintenance problems.
If you cannot reach an agreement with the other parent about child maintenance arrangements, the government runs a statutory Child Maintenance Service that can arrange child maintenance on your behalf.
The Child Maintenance Service can collect maintenance payments from the paying parent and pass them on to the receiving parent.
It can also help you find the other parent if you do not know where they live, and help sort out any disagreements about parentage.
If you want to use the Child Maintenance Service, you'll need to contact them first. You can call them on 0800 988 0988.