Sometimes when you are separating or divorcing, it’s a challenge to focus on the needs of your children, especially when you are feeling a whole range of frequently changing emotions. Upset and hurt, anger, frustration and sadness are all completely normal at this time. At Your Family First, we support you to remain focused on the needs of your children, whilst dealing with the practical arrangements of your changing family dynamic.
Mediation supports both you and your former partner to look at the needs of your family as a whole, as well as the needs of individual children should that be appropriate. As experts in family separation, we are able to give you information about how the courts deal with applications relating to children matters. This helps you ‘reality test’ your ideas about your arrangements. Reality testing means looking at whether a court would have agreed to the decisions you are considering. It’s important that as parents, you are happy with the arrangements that you make for your family because it will be the two of you who make the arrangements work. We can help you put a written agreement together in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding. This is a document that you sign and agree to abide by. It can contain anything that is relevant to your family.
Whilst your children will never be present in the mediation sessions, we can offer Direct Child Consultation if appropriate. One of our specially trained mediators will meet with your child or children in a safe environment without either parent being present. They get to share their thoughts and feelings about what happens to them in your separation. Direct Child Consultation does not happen in every case. It only occurs if you as parents and the mediator agree, AND your children are willing to see the mediator. Please note that the meeting with your child and the mediator is confidential and subject to safeguarding exceptions. Only information which your child wants you to know, will be shared with you. Please feel free to download our leaflet Mediation and the voice of your child for further information.
At Your Family First, we can also assist you with the writing of a Parenting Plan. You can download our template for free. Parenting Plans help give clarity to you and your children about the arrangements you have made for them. Perhaps you are a Grandparent who isn’t able to see your grandchildren because of your child’s divorce or separation. You can download our leaflet Grandparents & Mediation for further advice about how mediation can help you. Alternatively you can contact us by phone or email.