Disputes involving children

Family Mediation allows you to reach your own decisions about contact arrangements rather than having a Judge decide for you.

This means mediated 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 & 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 the 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 focused on what their children need.

Read more about reaching and resolving disputes as a separating couple, as parents, or how to help as a family member or friend.

National Family Mediation (NFM) is a network of professional family mediation providers based in England and Wales that work with families affected by relational breakdown. All providers aim to help clients achieve an outcome that works best for them and their family.

NFM Mediators routinely encourage parents to consider inviting their children to participate directly in the mediation process. We believe that most children appreciate the opportunity to be heard directly.

Parents are assured that:

  • their children will not be asked to make choices or decisions
  • we respect their parental authority
  • children are seen only with the agreement of both parents
  • we will discuss fully with them the process and purpose of a “listening meeting” before involving children

All NFM services also routinely offer other support services for children, like child counselling.

If you would like to get more information about mediation and/or make an appointment you can contact NFM direct on 0300 4000 636 or you can contact a looking for my nearest NFM mediation service in your area.

All services also take referrals from Solicitors, the court or other helping / support agencies

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