Mediating about your children
You will both want to maintain your close relationships with your children
Perhaps you are used to seeing them and caring for them on a daily basis. How will this happen when you live apart?
These questions are often at the top of the list for separating or divorcing parents when they come to mediation. And the questions seem impossible to deal with sometimes when people are in the middle of the painful process of separation.
Whilst your children are so important to you, when the relationship between parents breaks down, that conflict can mean that parents can’t see a way that they will be able to discuss and make arrangements for their children.
How do we talk about arrangements for the children going forwards?
These conversations are not easy. It may feel safer for now to ask solicitors to write letters for you, to have someone to 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. And in most cases, parents accept that 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. Through Mediation you can 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 meet those needs. You will have a child-focussed discussion. In mediation you can consider all of 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 for the future?
In mediation, parents can plan how they want to deal with special occasions, birthdays, religious holidays, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins- all of those relationships.
How do we tell them that we are separating?
In mediation we will help you to consider 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?
And 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?
In mediation, you can work out what you will tell the children and how you will 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 this 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 that we have been mediating.
This is all new to you. It is not new to your mediator.
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 ever will and with our help, we can start building the foundations for you both to start working together as parents, as you separate and divorce.
We are experienced, accredited lawyer mediators who can help you to create the future for your children that they deserve.