Parental Conflict & Mediation


With relief, we learn that the three-year-old, taken by his mother in defiance of a Court Order granting residence to his father, has been found safe and well. Whilst that order was made on the basis the mother was causing emotional distress to the child in not allowing him contact with his father, she felt desperate enough to take the child and go into hiding.

The distress of the father during that period is also unimaginable. Both parties inevitably endured two weeks of emotional turmoil, but what of the innocent child?

Proceedings were initially issued when the boy was only a year old. For the greater part of his short life, his parents have been repeatedly before the Court with his parents unable or unwilling to agree as to what was deemed to be in the child’s best interests. When the boy showed signs of distress and a wish to see his father and other family members his mother finally responded to these wishes and went to the Police. Children do not thrive in the midst of parental conflict and nor do they deserve to endure it.

Whilst very few cases result in the abduction of a child, many parents find it difficult to put aside their personal feelings to determine arrangements that are in the best interests of their children.

When parents cannot communicate with each other or cannot agree arrangements for their family, mediation can help.

Mediation allows a parent to express their genuine concerns or fears in a safe environment, with the focus firmly on the children and their best interests. As recognised by the Family Justice Review, where this does not happen the repercussions can have wide-ranging and continuing effects, not just for them, but for Society generally. 

Cheltenham Mediation Services provide family mediation to families and couples across Gloucestershire and can offer legal aid to those that qualify.

To learn more about family mediation, please call us on 01242 220601 or email