Mediating Over Arrangements For Your Children
You both want to maintain a close relationship with your children. What will this look like when you live apart?
This is often the biggest concern for parents who are separating or divorcing and can feel impossible to deal with in the early stages of separation. There is so much to adjust to and if you are over whelmed with difficult feelings of loss and hurt, sadness and anger it can feel impossible to discuss arrangements around your children with the other person.
We are experienced family mediation council accredited lawyer mediators who can help you to create the future for your children that they deserve.
How do we talk about arrangements for the children?
These conversations are not easy especially when separation is recent.
It may feel safer in the early stages to ask solicitors to write letters for you, to have someone fight your corner when you may feel battle weary.
But does it really need to be a fight? How will that work for you both in the long term? You will always be your children’s parents.
Most parents accept their children benefit from having the love and support from both of you in their lives, no matter how flawed you may consider your ex to be. Mediation can help you both find a way to talk about the important issues as parents and to decide together what you want for your children.
In mediation you will be able to discuss what your children need from you both and how you will jointly meet those needs. You will have a child-focussed discussion in mediation so you can start to look at the practical day to day issues for example:
- Where does everyone live?
- What are the daily routines for school and for work?
- How have you managed that in one household?
- How will that change in the future?
In mediation you can plan how you want to deal with special occasions, birthdays, religious holidays, seeing grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins- all of those relationships.
How about the children? Who will find out what they are thinking?
We can help you talk through these difficult issues – and in many cases we can also talk to your children in confidence about their thoughts and feelings around the changes in the family and your separation. See the section on Child Inclusive Mediation for more information
Why use our family mediation service?
Whilst mediation is not easy, we say that if you can and are willing to focus on the needs of your children, you are more likely to find a way forward that works best for them. You know them better than any Judge and with our help you can start to build the firm foundations for working together as parents as you separate and divorce.
How do we tell them that we are separating?
In mediation we will help you think about how that conversation can take place.
Can you and your former partner sit down together and talk to your children about what’s going to happen?
Can you agree on what you will say? Can you answer the questions they may have?
How will you create safety for your children? How will you let them know that none of this is their fault and that they will remain loved and cared for by both of you?
We’ll help you work out what to say to the children and how to tell them
You can talk through whether this information should be given by one or other of you, or whether it is better for the children to hear it from both of you.
There are no sections on the court forms for this type of discussion, and without a very clear understanding of how you will tell the children, these conversations can be very painful for all of you.
We can help you with this as we have for many separating couples over the years.
This is probably all new to you. It is not new to us.