Frequently Asked Questions
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What is Child Inclusive Mediation?
Child Inclusive Mediation gives children a voice and an opportunity to share their worries, and concerns and contribute to the plans for the future when their parents have decided to divorce or separate.
When children have been allowed to share their views in mediation, parents work together to make sure their children’s voices are heard and their wishes become a reality.
What are the Benefits of Child Inclusive Mediation?
- Child Inclusive Mediation provides children a safe space to express their thoughts, feelings and concerns – helping them to feel heard and validated, without fear of judgment
- You can develop ideas and try out arrangements to see if they work for the whole family, without being constrained by court orders or statutory involvement, such as local authority or Cafcass.
- It’s voluntary everybody agrees to try it – children are seen only with the agreement of both parents
- It helps you develop new methods of communication and prevents the children from becoming the messenger and being caught in the middle of conflicts
- It’s confidential
- Cost-effective and timely resolution. NFM offer Child-Inclusive Mediation for free and using mediation to agree issues relating to your separation is much faster, cheaper and less stressful for everyone involved than lengthy court battles and the associated legal expenses.
How does it work ?
The mediator will talk to you about how your children can contribute, and if you both agree, they will arrange to meet with them at a convenient time for everyone and usually in a neutral space and a place where they feel safe, such as in their school.
During the confidential meeting, the mediator will ask a series of open and age-appropriate questions to understand your children’s wishes and feelings about the things you have already agreed to be considered, examples include :
- How they feel about their current living situation? Is there anything they would like to change?
- How do they feel about the time they spend with each parent?
- Who are the important people in their life that they feel close to?
- Do they have any particular concerns?
The success of child-inclusive mediation depends on the willingness and commitment of the parents to prioritise the best interests of their children.
In Child Inclusive Mediation :
- Children will not be asked to make choices or decisions
- Parental authority is respected
- Children are seen only with the agreement of both parents
- We discuss fully with the parents the process and purpose of a “listening meeting” before involving children.