As Angelina and Brad split, local charity offers advice

File photo dated 02/06/13 of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arriving for the world premiere of World War Z, as Jolie made her first public appearance since she revealed she had undergone a double mastectomy, as she and Brad Pitt walked the red carpet together. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday June 3, 2013. The couple looked happy and relaxed as they stopped to meet fans and pose for photos before the premiere of Pitt's new film, World War Z, in London. Jolie, who made her announcement last month, waved and smiled for fans, telling reporters: "I feel great. I feel wonderful." See PA story SHOWBIZ Jolie. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire ENGEMN00120130306082344

File photo dated 02/06/13 of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arriving for the world premiere of World War Z, as Jolie made her first public appearance since she revealed she had undergone a double mastectomy, as she and Brad Pitt walked the red carpet together. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday June 3, 2013. The couple looked happy and relaxed as they stopped to meet fans and pose for photos before the premiere of Pitt's new film, World War Z, in London. Jolie, who made her announcement last month, waved and smiled for fans, telling reporters: "I feel great. I feel wonderful." See PA story SHOWBIZ Jolie. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire ENGEMN00120130306082344

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Following the high profile split of Hollywood actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, a counselling charity is offering advice for unhappy couples with children.

Eastbourne ranks in the top ten towns in the country for its divorce rate, with more than 11 per cent of the population having had a divorce. This is significantly higher than the UK’s national average of 8.2 per cent.

Relate, Sussex, is offering advice for couples who have chosen to separate to cause the least pain possible for them and their children.

Relate councillor, Marie De-ath said, “A staggering 42 per cent of marriages in the UK break down, and a significant proportion of cohabiting couples with children also separate.

“When there’s so much at stake, emotions will be running high but there’s a lot to be gained by keeping things amicable.

“After all, evidence shows that it’s conflict rather than the divorce or separation itself which is the most damaging thing for children.

“Of course, talking to somebody objective, such as a counsellor, can help.

“There’s a common misconception that Relate only helps couples to stay together but we also help our clients to separate in the least painful way possible, if that’s what’s right for them.

“The truth is that most children would prefer their parents to separate than to be unhappy and argue all of the time.”

Relate’s tips for separating parents include communicating with eachother, planning for the future, opening up to trusted people outside the relationship, and letting the children know what’s going on together.

The charity also says it is important to avoid bad-mouthing the other parent and to minimise disruption to the children’s lives by keeping their routines as similar to normal as possible.

A spokesperson said, “Counselling can provide you with a space to think, feel and move on. Mediation can help you to reach agreement over finances and living arrangements if initial attempts fail.”

Relate offers a range of relationship support services, including individual counselling, family counselling and mediation.

To find out more, call 01273 697997 or visit www.relate.org/sussex.

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