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Divorce may only be the beginning for children of separated parents


You may have seen reports of ‘Divorce Week’ in the news this week – the week in January each year that has
historically seen a large percentage of couples beginning to make divorce enquiries.

The process of divorce and separation can be stressful enough for adults to deal with, although we do everything we can to help the process go as smoothly as possible for our clients, but for children it can be an extremely scary and bewildering time.

Childrens’ needs during separation

The majority of children need to maintain a relationship with parents and other relatives who are important to them.  Not all separated parents find it easy to achieve this.

Bury St. Edmunds Child Contact Centre is a place for children to meet with parents or other relatives they no longer live with, or see, after relationship breakdown.

The Bury St Edmunds Child Contact Centre does fantastic work in helping children feel secure and loved following a divorce or separation.

Burnett Barker Solicitors Support for BSECCC

We recently donated £100 to the Contact Centre, based in Fornham Road; kick-starting an initiative to raise awareness of the charity and how it helps local families.

Providing a safe, neutral and comfortable place for children of separated parents to see their non-resident parent or family members, the centre plays a vital part in ensuring that family relationships are maintained and that children do not go without the love and attention of both parents following a break-up.

First opened in 1989, the centre is now among around 400 similar centres in the UK, accredited by the National Association of Child Contact Centres. Its service enables families to put into practice agreements that have been made elsewhere, such as in family mediation, via solicitors or family courts, but it also accepts self-referrals from parents in need of help.

Jo Matthews, our Family Law Solicitor sits on the committee of the Bury Child Contact Centre and said:

“The majority of children want, and need, to maintain a relationship with parents and other relatives following a separation – not all separated parents find this easy to achieve however. Trust may have broken down and communication may have become difficult, making it almost impossible to enable the child to spend quality time with the parent or relative they no longer live with.” 

Felicity Carnegie, Vice Chair at the Contact Centre, added:

“Without the Contact Centre there would be a number of children who would lose contact with their non-resident parent completely. We offer supported contact, so that families, where no significant risk to the child has been identified, can spend time together in neutral environment.”

The Bury St Edmunds Contact Centre operates as a charity and whilst they have historically received grants from government, these grants have recently been cut back, so the majority of the money needed to keep the service going relies on fundraising and donations.

For more information on the centre and how you can help support its work through fundraising or volunteering, visit

You can also find out more about our Family Law services at