Family mediation is much quicker, less stressful, and usually cheaper than heading to court.
It helps you make long-term settlements on parenting, money and property.
It enables you to keep control of your destiny, instead of handing it over to a court.
It’s an active process, so the decisions are made by the participants, not by a judge.
Grandparents play an important part in the lives of their grandchildren. It’s usually a positive thing if they can stay in touch with them after there has been a separation or divorce.
I used to see my grandchildren, but now I am not allowed to. What rights do I have?
Grandparents have no automatic right to be part of their grandchild’s life. Family mediation can help reduce conflict between family members after separation or divorce. It is often the best way to resume contact.
As a last resort, a court can be approached to make a child arrangement order. This will happen if the court considers it to be in the child’s best interests.
How can I help my grandchildren cope with changes in their lives now their parents have separated?
Children benefit from reassurance in times of change. They need to know:
• It is not their fault
• They are loved, and
• Someone is there to talk to about their feelings
Of course, children may have conflicting loyalties.
Listening without criticism of either parent will help them continue to talk about their feelings.
What help can I get to begin the mediation process?
If you feel unable to contact the adults who care for your grandchild/ren, you can approach your local National Family Mediation service.
Experienced staff will explain the process of mediation. They will discuss with you the best way of inviting your relatives to participate.
Our staff will also explain the costs, and whether you are eligible for help in meeting these costs.
Can I insist my family takes part in mediation?
No. Mediation is voluntary for all parties. It offers a safe place for families to make decisions in the best interests of their children. Mediators are professionally trained. They will help you negotiate with your family, and therefore help you to reach a settlement for future relationships with your grandchild/ren.
Children can be involved in family mediation. They can help shape the way their lives pan out after their parents have separated.
As the founders of child-inclusive mediation, we are ideally placed to help you decide if this is suitable.
We will help you assess and decide whether child-inclusive mediation is appropriate for your case.
If both parents agree the children should be involved, then our mediators help ensure this happens.
Our mediators are qualified and experienced in including children in family mediation.
Once you have decided to go ahead with family mediation, contact us.
Then we will quickly begin arranging an appointment for you with one of our expert family mediators.
As a grandparent you will need leave of the court to bring an application for residence or contact unless the child has been living with you for a period of at least three years. The court will look at the connection you have to the child, the type of order you seek and whether there will be any disruption to the child’s life to the extent that harm will be caused.