I’ve been ordered to attend a SPIP – but what is it?
When parents are engaged in court proceedings regarding the arrangements for their child/ children, the Family Court will often order them to attend a Separated Parents Information Programme (or SPIP).
This is a course which is designed to encourage parents to look at their situation differently, and rather than focus on the issues between them, instead look at what is in their child/ children’s best interests. If a SPIP is ordered, it is not to say that the court thinks you are a ‘bad’ parent – It is simply an opportunity to receive some support and share ideas in a difficult situation.
The course is run by providers across the country and is usually a face to face group session. The parents do not attend the same session, and instead, the idea is that they mix with others who could potentially be in similar situations. It is hoped that parents can discuss their own circumstances whilst also listening and learning from others who are going through a similar thing.
The course focusses on encouraging parents to see the impact of conflict on their children and promote tips on how to reduce that conflict.
Some providers will offer the SPIP service free of charge, however this can vary across the country. To find out where your local SPIP provider is based, visit here.
Depending on your preference, and what your local provider can offer, there is often a choice of either attending one session or two. If the course is completed in one session, usually it will last for around 4 hours, whereas if you opt to split that into two, each of the two sessions will last around 2 hours.
If you have been ordered to attend a SPIP by the court, then we would always encourage you to attend. The reason for this is not only because the court could criticise you for non-attendance, but also because you may learn something!
If you have any further queries regarding the SPIP, or disputes relating to child arrangements generally, you can contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp on 07725 115219. Alternatively, if you are able to call us then we would be more than happy to discuss matters with you over the telephone on 01625 544650.