Coping in a divorce situation or at the end of a relationship
There are many types of help available for the changes and reflection caused by the divorce or by the end of a relationship.
Divorce or end of a cohabition relationship can be one of the most stressing situations that you will experience in your life. You may have considered it for a long time or it may be a terrible shock and surprise. It is natural for it to stir up a range of mixed emotions. Even though going through a divorce or an end of a relationship can often cause a great deal of stress, it can also be a source of relief.
For example, it may feel difficult that the same person who you want to divorce will still be involved in the care of your children and when your children’s matters are discussed.
Financial matters and housing will often have to be organised in an entirely different way. Professional help is available for both the divorcing adult and the children for reflection and discussing practical arrangements.
You should tell your children after you have thought things through and made your final decision on the matter. You should provide your children with enough time to prepare for any upcoming changes, but if your children are very young, you should only tell them when the divorce or the separation is actually close to being finalised. You should always tell your children what will and what will not change.
If you have a child that is under school age, you can get help from the child welfare clinic, and a parent of a school-age child can get support from the school psychologist or school social worker.
In a divorce, your property will be divided either between the spouses or in the manner specified in your prenuptial agreement. At the end of a cohabitation relationship, your property will be separated. Your financial situation may become worse because of the divorce or separation, when you can no longer share, for example, your living expenses.
Remember that you can get help from the municipal social services for organising your life and financial situation. Contact Kela to find out whether you are entitled to a housing allowance or basic social assistance as well as any benefits for single parents. If the basic social assistance that has been granted by Kela is not enough, you can also receive supplementary and preventive social assistance from your municipality. The diaconal services of the church will also help regardless of whether you belong to the church or not.
If you have been subjected to or threatened with violence, you should always contact the police. If necessary, you can also get in touch with a healthcare professional.
You can receive help and support from for example shelters, Victim Support Finland and the social service authorities as well as from the guidance services provided by various organisations.
In an emergency, call 112.
A lot of literature on divorce and end of a relationship is available in libraries. Check the resources that are available (in Finnish) on apuaeroon.fi.
You can also receive support from family counselling, counselling centres for family matters, and private psychotherapists. In addition, various organisations such as the Family Federation of Finland, the Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters, and Kasper ry provide help and support on their websites.
So-called divorce groups meet up in many localities. In these groups lead by professionals, you can get support from others who are in the same situation. Enquire about the groups at the health centre, social services or parishes.
It takes time to recover from an end of a relationship, but you may also need a doctor’s or a therapist’s help with your mental health.
If you feel that the divorce is too hard for you to cope with and you cannot even reasonably manage your daily life, contact the health centre. The doctor will assess the situation and, if necessary, refer you to treatment such as psychotherapy, for example. You can also contact private psychotherapists directly.
Find out if it is possible to receive support from Kela for your treatment.