Mediation for Parents

As separated parents you want to make the right choices for your children well mediation enables that discussion to take place safely.

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Parents – Even if you have reached a mutual decision to separate, mediation is a good way to resolve your problems

Divorce and children

Children are anxious if their parents are going to divorce. The family unit is usually their source of stability and now their future seems unstable and uncertain.

It is very important that parents should try to reassure children that although things may have changed, that their parents are still working together to achieve a sense of continuity for them.

The division of parents into two separate households can be a particular cause for concern.

One way in which you can help children to cope with the changes associated with divorce or separation is to continue with old habits and routines. Children like a sense of certainty and they can gain from proper scheduling and organisation.

Think about things such as children’s bedtime routines, journeys to and from school and maintaining children’s friendships and other social links.

Think also about your home – will you need to split your property how will you manage two houses and expenses?

Children and your ex-partner

Children appreciate honesty when talking to them about your ex-partner. However, it is important that you consider your child’s age when you are discussing these issues with them. You need to be sensitive to the child in all circumstances, thinking about their needs and feelings.

Some ideas for talking about the process of separation with your children are:-

Talking about the separation or divorce
Although your first feelings may be to argue or to disagree with your partner it is very important to keep the lines of communication open.
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Some ideas for keeping clear communication with your partner:-
Keeping your children informed

It is important that information is age appropriate. Younger children will not be able to process as much detail as older ones can.

However, you know your children best and should be able to make a judgement as to the form, and content, that you can take in.

Contact MIAMS for Family Mediation – 03300 101 354

How Mediation Can Help Parents Deal With a Disagreed Upon Custody Agreement

Mediation can be beneficial for the children involved, as long as both parents are willing to attend. Mediation can actually benefit all parties involved in a dispute because it helps to find a solution to an issue. A mediator can help parents communicate better and can effectively reduce stress in the situation.

Good mediation can also work alongside a therapist to offer parents support during what will likely be a difficult and stressful time. The parent may not even know that they are suffering from conflict and may not feel like talking. This means that a professional can be an invaluable resource to parents who may not be sure about their communication skills or how to approach their children. Sometimes, a parent will be uncomfortable with their own emotions and may feel like talking about the problem is an admission of weakness.

A mediator is trained in how to talk to children and what to do if the child is not responding in the manner that you would like. They can take an issue and help the parents to express their thoughts and feelings without the use of words. They can bring in a neutral point of view to the discussion and help to set goals for the entire family. If a parent wishes to make a complaint, a mediator can provide support.

They can work to reduce arguments, disagreements, conflicts and problems between the parents. The goal of the mediator is to get the parents to communicate more effectively and build a better understanding between them. By helping both parties to communicate more effectively, the mediator can reduce tension that can build up. Sometimes, a parent can become frustrated with the situation and will start to shout and cry at the other party. This can escalate the problem and further exacerbate it, which means that the problem is much larger than the initial issues and that help is needed from a mediator to help the parents to resolve the issues.

For children, a mediator’s goal is to address their child’s needs and feelings as well as their parents and to find a resolution that the child can live with and that works for everyone. Although the parent may feel like they are being ignored, they will learn to recognise when they are being listened to and understand the need for a change.

Mediation can be an effective way to resolve conflicts between parents and children because it helps them work together to find common ground and to work out the issues. Once they reach an agreement, it is more likely that they will keep the relationship strong.

Mediation FAQ

What is family mediation? Family mediation is a process where a trained mediator helps parents resolve disputes regarding child arrangements, finances, or other family matters. This process is less stressful and often quicker than going to court.

What is the family mediation voucher scheme? The family mediation voucher scheme is a government initiative that provides financial support to help cover the costs of mediation for eligible families, making it more accessible, especially for those with low income.

How can I find out if I qualify for the voucher scheme? To determine eligibility for the family mediation voucher scheme, you can speak with a family mediator or contact the Family Mediation Council, who will assess your circumstances.

What happens during a mediation information assessment meeting (MIAM)? During a MIAM, a mediator will explain the mediation process, assess whether mediation is suitable for your situation, and discuss the costs of mediation. This meeting helps you understand if mediation is the right option for you.

Can I get legal aid for family mediation? Yes, if you have a low income, you may be eligible for legal aid to cover the costs of mediation. This can be discussed during your initial meeting with the mediator.

What if there is domestic abuse or domestic violence involved? If domestic abuse or domestic violence is a factor, the mediator will carefully assess whether mediation is appropriate and safe. In some cases, mediation might not be recommended, and alternative legal advice or court orders may be necessary.

What is a consent order, and do I need one? A consent order is a legal document that makes the agreements reached during mediation legally binding. It is recommended to obtain a consent order to ensure both parties adhere to the agreed terms.

Can we be in different rooms during mediation? Yes, if you feel uncomfortable being in the same room as the other parent, mediation can be conducted in separate rooms, a process known as shuttle mediation.

How much does mediation cost? The cost of mediation varies, but it is generally less expensive than going to court. The family mediation voucher scheme and legal aid can help reduce these costs for eligible families.

What is a memorandum of understanding? A memorandum of understanding is a document that outlines the agreements made during mediation. While not legally binding, it serves as a basis for a consent order or further legal advice.

What is the role of the Family Mediation Council? The Family Mediation Council oversees family mediators and ensures they meet professional standards. They provide information, resources, and help you find qualified mediators.

Can mediation help with child arrangements during school holidays? Yes, mediation can assist parents in creating a parenting plan that includes arrangements for school holidays, ensuring that both parents agree on how the child’s time is spent.

What if our circumstances change after mediation? If circumstances change, you can return to mediation to renegotiate the terms of your agreement, ensuring that the arrangements continue to meet the best interests of your child.

Is mediation a good option for resolving disputes? Mediation is often a good option as it promotes less conflict, is cost-effective, and focuses on the best interests of the child. It allows parents to sort things out amicably and cooperatively.

What is the difference between family mediation and family arbitration? Family mediation involves a mediator helping parents reach an agreement, whereas family arbitration involves an arbitrator making a binding decision on the dispute. Both are alternatives to court.

Can mediation assist with issues related to civil partnerships? Yes, mediation can help resolve disputes arising from civil partnerships, including financial matters and child arrangements.

How does family mediation benefit the child? Family mediation prioritises the child’s best interests, helping parents create a stable and cooperative environment, which reduces stress and conflict for the child.

What are the legal fees associated with mediation? Legal fees for mediation are generally lower than court fees. Costs can be further minimised through the voucher scheme and legal aid for eligible participants.

What should I expect during the first mediation meeting? In the first meeting, the mediator will explain the process, assess its suitability for your situation, and begin identifying the issues to be resolved. It’s an opportunity to ask questions and understand how mediation works.

Can we receive legal advice during mediation? While mediators do not provide legal advice, they encourage parties to seek independent legal advice to understand their rights and ensure that any agreement is fair and legally sound.

What is family mediation? Family mediation is a process where a trained mediator helps parents resolve disputes regarding child arrangements, finances, or other family matters. This process is less stressful and often quicker than going to court.

What is the family mediation voucher scheme? The family mediation voucher scheme is a government initiative that provides financial support to help cover the costs of mediation for eligible families, making it more accessible, especially for those with low income.

How can I find out if I qualify for the voucher scheme? To determine eligibility for the family mediation voucher scheme, you can speak with a family mediator or contact the Family Mediation Council, who will assess your circumstances.

What happens during a mediation information assessment meeting (MIAM)? During a MIAM, a mediator will explain the mediation process, assess whether mediation is suitable for your situation, and discuss the costs of mediation. This meeting helps you understand if mediation is the right option for you.

Can I get legal aid for family mediation? Yes, if you have a low income, you may be eligible for legal aid to cover the costs of mediation. This can be discussed during your initial meeting with the mediator.

What if there is domestic abuse or domestic violence involved? If domestic abuse or domestic violence is a factor, the mediator will carefully assess whether mediation is appropriate and safe. In some cases, mediation might not be recommended, and alternative legal advice or court orders may be necessary.

What is a consent order, and do I need one? A consent order is a legal document that makes the agreements reached during mediation legally binding. It is recommended to obtain a consent order to ensure both parties adhere to the agreed terms.

Can we be in different rooms during mediation? Yes, if you feel uncomfortable being in the same room as the other parent, mediation can be conducted in separate rooms, a process known as shuttle mediation.

How much does mediation cost? The cost of mediation varies, but it is generally less expensive than going to court. The family mediation voucher scheme and legal aid can help reduce these costs for eligible families.

What is a memorandum of understanding? A memorandum of understanding is a document that outlines the agreements made during mediation. While not legally binding, it serves as a basis for a consent order or further legal advice.

What is the role of the Family Mediation Council? The Family Mediation Council oversees family mediators and ensures they meet professional standards. They provide information, resources, and help you find qualified mediators.

Can mediation help with child arrangements during school holidays? Yes, mediation can assist parents in creating a parenting plan that includes arrangements for school holidays, ensuring that both parents agree on how the child’s time is spent.

What if our circumstances change after mediation? If circumstances change, you can return to mediation to renegotiate the terms of your agreement, ensuring that the arrangements continue to meet the best interests of your child.

Is mediation a good option for resolving disputes? Mediation is often a good option as it promotes less conflict, is cost-effective, and focuses on the best interests of the child. It allows parents to sort things out amicably and cooperatively.

What is the difference between family mediation and family arbitration? Family mediation involves a mediator helping parents reach an agreement, whereas family arbitration involves an arbitrator making a binding decision on the dispute. Both are alternatives to court.

Can mediation assist with issues related to civil partnerships? Yes, mediation can help resolve disputes arising from civil partnerships, including financial matters and child arrangements.

How does family mediation benefit the child? Family mediation prioritises the child’s best interests, helping parents create a stable and cooperative environment, which reduces stress and conflict for the child.

What are the legal fees associated with mediation? Legal fees for mediation are generally lower than court fees. Costs can be further minimised through the voucher scheme and legal aid for eligible participants.

What should I expect during the first mediation meeting? In the first meeting, the mediator will explain the process, assess its suitability for your situation, and begin identifying the issues to be resolved. It’s an opportunity to ask questions and understand how mediation works.

Can we receive legal advice during mediation? While mediators do not provide legal advice, they encourage parties to seek independent legal advice to understand their rights and ensure that any agreement is fair and legally sound.

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