Disputes Involving Children
Family Mediation allows you to reach your own decisions about contact arrangements rather than having a court decide for you. This means mediation agreements tend to work better and last longer.
In Family Mediation you sort out family arrangements over a number of joint meetings. The focus is on providing a safe and fair environment with the aim of moving forward and reaching agreement and not on deciding whose fault it is. The mediator will help you to negotiate an agreement that takes account of the whole family’s needs.
Mediation can promote better quality communication between you and your ex-partner. It also helps to establish a sound foundation for continued good parenting. Mediation can be about children, property and finance or both.
As a part of the mediation process, it is sometimes possible to bring the children in to meet the mediator and have a confidential discussion with them. The mediator will only feed back to parents the points the child gives permission to feed back. This helps to create a safe place for children to offload how they feel about the current situation, any concerns they have and they can ask questions. Experience tells us that children find this process very helpful and they appreciate being asked what their feelings are as it says they matter. The feedback to the parents is usually helpful in guiding decisions which will then meet all the family’s needs. It helps parents to stay focussed on what their children need.
Kids in the Middle: www.voicesinthemiddle.org.uk/
The Parenting Plan: www.cafcass.gov.uk/grown-ups/parenting-plan.aspx
The Family Courts Expectations: open the pdf - What the Family Courts expect from Parents