Children Mediation

Q. What can we talk about in mediation?

A. You can talk about any arrangements you wish to make for your children, as well as any concerns you may have about them and how well they are coping with your situation. 

Parents frequently discuss:

Where their children are going to live

How much time they are going to spend with each parent

Their children’s schooling

Holiday arrangements

Improving communication between each other

What to tell the children about the separation and how to reassure them

The financial arrangements for their children

 

Q. Can mediation involve grandparents or other relatives?

A. Yes, we are happy to mediate between any family members who have an interest in the child’s welfare and are entitled to be involved in decisions regarding his or her upbringing and care.

 

Q. Are the children involved?

A. Through all our work with you we keep your children’s needs in the forefront of our discussions.  We will encourage you to think about your children, their needs and wishes rather than your own.

Where it is in the child’s interest, we will see older children and talk about their views and wishes with them.  This is usually done when parents have differing opinions about what their children want, and only with your complete agreement.  We are very careful to maintain the children’s confidentiality and will only tell you what they ask us to.  The purpose of meeting with your children is not to pass the decisions to them, but to give you information about their views which will help you make better decisions for them.

 

Q. Can you help if the parents can’t communicate?

A. Many problems arise because parents find it difficult or impossible to talk to each other.  Mediation provides a safe place where parents can talk about their children.  We will manage your discussion to enable you both to think about your children and discuss their needs in a positive and constructive manner.  We will also be able to help you to improve your communication and avoid the things which so often lead to arguments and bitterness.

 

Q. How long does it take?

A. Research has shown that most couples reach agreement in mediation in just a third of the time it would take if they negotiated the same agreement through solicitors. The majority of family mediations are concluded in two to five sessions, each lasting approximately one and a half hours.

We will be happy to discuss the probable length of your mediation at the start of the process.

 

Further reading:

What the family courts expect from parents
How do family mediators help?
Guide to Family Court applications
Safeguarding your children's future after separation
Children, Separation, and Stress


Civil Partnerships

Q. What can we discuss?

A. Mediation can help you decide what to do about:

  • the timing of your separation or the dissolution of your Civil Partnership
  • money, property and pensions
  • your debts
  • your children
  • maintenance payments
  • the way you communicate with your former partner

and many other questions which arise on the ending of your relationship.


Divorce & Separation

Q. What can we discuss?

A. Mediation can help you decide what to do about questions relating to:

  • the timing of your separation or divorce;
  • your children;
  • money, 
  • property and pensions;
  • your debts;
  • maintenance payments.
  • the way you communicate with your former partner.

And many other questions which arise on separation or divorce.

 

Q. What if we are still together or disagree about whether to part?

A. Many couples come to us before they have separated and when they are still unsure about their future.  We are happy to help them discuss the future of their relationship, although we do not offer relationship counselling. 

We frequently work with couples to help them decide when and how best to separate, and what to tell their children about their plans.

 

Q. What if we are not married or in a lesbian or gay relationship?

A. We are pleased to work with couples who have been in any form of family relationship.  We can help them to decide what arrangements to make for their children, resolve disputes about their property and agree when and how to separate.  We can also help them decide how and when to end their Civil Partnership.

 

Q. What if my ex-partner and I are not speaking?

A. Mediation is not always easy.  We are used to working with clients who feel upset, angry and tense.  We provide a safe and calm environment, and can offer you separate space when needed.  We will manage your discussion to enable each of you to put your point of view, and  discuss your situation in a positive and constructive manner.  We will also be able to help you improve your communication and avoid the things which so often lead to arguments and bitterness.   


Finance & Property

Q. How will I know what my rights are?

A. We will give you information about the law and how it is applied to questions about money and property on the breakdown of a relationship or divorce.    Although some of our mediators are solicitors, we will encourage you to obtain independent legal advice at appropriate stages in the mediation process.  To help you do this we will prepare formal written Summaries of your financial position and of the discussions we have had in mediation which will enable your solicitor to give you clear and concise advice whilst keeping your legal fees to a minimum.

 

Q. Is mediation suitable in cases where there are complex finances?

A. Some of our mediators are solicitors and used to working with complex financial arrangements which may include private companies, trusts or complex pensions.  In such cases we work closely with your solicitors and can involve financial advisers, pension experts and accountants in the mediation process.

 

Q. What if my former partner lies about their money?

A. It is a condition of agreeing to mediation that you both undertake to make full and frank disclosure of your financial positions.  In mediation we ask you to complete detailed statements about your financial positions and where necessary produce documents to substantiate what you say.  We give you the opportunity of questioning each other and of asking for relevant documents to be produced.  We will discuss with you the most sensible way of valuing complex assets like private businesses, and encourage you to seek legal advice where appropriate.  Any agreement you reach in mediation will only become legally binding after you have taken legal advice and signed the appropriate legal documents, which should be drafted by solicitors.  However, if it subsequently transpires that someone has lied about their financial position, the agreement may be set aside.

 

Q. What if my ex-partner and I are not speaking?

A. Mediation is not always easy.  We are used to working with clients who feel upset, angry and tense.  We provide a safe and calm environment, and can offer you separate space when needed.  We will manage your discussion to enable each of you to put your point of view, and  discuss your situation in a positive and constructive manner.  We will also be able to help you improve your communication and avoid the things which so often lead to arguments and bitterness.  

Further reading:

Property disputes and co-habitation
Separation and the family home


Family relationships / therapeutic mediation

Q. Can you help if the parents can’t communicate?

A. Many problems arise because parents find it difficult or impossible to talk to each other.  Mediation provides a safe place where parents can talk about their children.  We will manage your discussion to enable you both to think about your children and discuss their needs in a positive and constructive manner.  We will also be able to help you to improve your communication and avoid the things which so often lead to arguments and bitterness.

 

Q. What if parents do not want anything to do with each other?

A. Most children want and need their parents to have a good working relationship, to be able to make arrangements for them without arguing.  Children feel supported when both their parents are able to cooperate and work together.  We help parents to develop effective working relationships which support and encourage their children, by offering a safe place in which to improve communication, avoid conflict and understand each other better. 

Further reading:

Better to talk
The Elephant in the room

I was very impressed with the level of knowledge and professionalism shown by all staff throughout.