No family is without its drama, but for the most part disagreements and disputes can be settled with a little breathing space and time out.
For families in conflict however, it can be more difficult to bring about a resolution that works for all parties. Especially where tensions are already running high following a relationship breakdown, separation or divorce.
Needless to say, this can be an emotional and challenging time for families, especially when children are involved, and in those cases, the people involved may need some additional support to work things out.
Here we list the five most common reasons people come to us to mediate to help resolve matters amicably.
Financial issues are one of the biggest reasons for fallouts, and it’s easy to understand why.
When a relationship breaks down people want to know that they have access to the money they need to live comfortably, both in the here and now, and in the longer term.
For couples with children, disputes over child maintenance amounts are common, especially where one parent takes on the role of primary caregiver.
Disagreements over mortgage payments, pensions, savings and investments also regularly come up in mediation, with ex-partners looking for a skilled third-party negotiator to help ensure both person’s views are heard.
This is one of the most emotive and common reasons that people choose to mediate.
Historically, people would threaten their ex with Court if there was any suggestion of a fight over who had the children and on what days, but thanks to the Government Family Mediation Voucher scheme, couples can claim up to £500 to settle things more quickly and collaboratively.
Due to the backlogs in hearings at Court, and the animosity that often comes with dragging someone through the Court system, mediation is becoming more and more popular.
It is also possible to involve children in the sessions so that they get to put their views across as well, so it’s a really great solution for all.
The topic of holidays doesn’t feel like it should cause any conflict, but it’s actually an issue that is raised time and time again in mediation. Mostly in relation to whether one or other parent can take their child or children abroad.
One or other parent might feel nervous about the kids going abroad without them, or with their ex’s new partner. Other people might begrudge their former spouse spending money on a trip away when they feel more should be going towards child support.
In the last 18 months alone NFM has helped more than 150 couples specifically relating to passport and travel matters, and dozens more who have mentioned passport and travel as part of wider concerns.
Again, the mediation voucher scheme is available to anyone wanting help to resolve matters such as this.
In the digital age, relationships and family problems often get broadcasted on social media sites and that can cause a huge range of issues.
Often, people don’t see any harm in posting a raging, in-the-moment social post, but if the content damages the reputation of the other person that could have serious consequences.
In the past, we have worked with warring exes who say that an ill-considered social post has impacted their work life, upset other family members, and even resulted in problems for their children at school.
Mediation can help those who take part to put across what it is causing the hurt and frustration in a more controlled way, while ultimately looking for a resolution that works for all.
Finally, one of the top five reasons we see families coming through mediation following a divorce or separation is for issues related to family pets.
When a relationship breaks down both parties often feel overwhelmed about where they are going to live, how they will manage financially and what will happen with the children, but as any pet owner will know, where the dog/cat/rabbit will live, and how they will afford vets bills and food, is also a real worry.
Mediation provides an opportunity to discuss what is best for the animal. Recently, we have actually seen more couples actually agree to ‘share custody’, and therefore sharing the burden of costs and care.
Here you can read more about how family mediation can help you. Get in touch for more information, or book an appointment with a family mediator today.