When parents separate, it can be a difficult and emotional time for everyone, but especially for the children involved. In the midst of all the upheaval, it is important to find ways to provide children with a sense of stability and security. One way to do this is through the use of family mediation.
Family mediation is a process in which a neutral third party, called a mediator, helps separated parents to communicate and come to an agreement on various issues related to their separation, such as sharing parenting time, access to extended family, co-parenting and child support. Empowering parents to have control over their decision making and compromise on a co-parenting plan that works for everyone.
A report from the UK’s National Audit Office (NAO) states “compared to court proceedings, mediation can be a faster, cheaper and less adversarial process”. Family mediation can also be a less stressful and intimidating process for children compared to going to court. It provides a safe and neutral space for separated parents to communicate and work through their differences, and it allows families to have control over their own outcomes. In the 2017 ‘Review of Civil and Family Law’, Sir John Gillen stated, ‘“effects on children make the current adversarial litigation inappropriate” and “Family Justice requires a problem-solving approach that may best be served outside the court arena”.
Overall, family mediation can be a valuable tool for families going through the difficult process of separation. It can help reduce conflict, improve communication, and assist separating families find their own bespoke solutions that will work for all, particularly children. Court is often thought to be the only route for separated parents in conflict, and while in some instances this may be the case, we urge separated parents to consider family mediation as the first option. If you are going through a separation and have children, consider seeking out the services of a professional family mediator to help you navigate the process in a healthy, constructive and future focused way.
Get in contact with FMNI today to request an individual information and assessment meeting.
NAO (2007) Legal aid and mediation for people involved in family breakdown, see https://www.nao.org.uk/reports/legal-aid-and-mediation-for-people-involved-in-family-breakdown/