What is Child Inclusive Mediation?
Child inclusive mediation is a valuable process for families when a couple separates or divorces. Being in this situation can be very difficult for everyone, especially when children are involved and child inclusive mediation can improve outcomes for parents and children. All parents usually want what is best for their child, but parents will often disagree on what ‘best’ actually means, or looks like when it comes to arrangements for the children and spending time with the other. This causes tension and conflict within a co-parenting relationship, and can lead to wider issues affecting the child’s behaviour, or their future relationships with the parents.
It is possible for a mediator to speak to the children about their views within a Mediation setting, provided both parents consent. Research has shown that where children have the opportunity to have their say on matters that affect them, this can make the children feel more included and involved in matters and overall happier with the outcome. In turn, the parents can better understand what the children want, as well as making decisions that work for all parties, and not just themselves.
In a mediation session, which will be held separately from that involving the parents, children can discuss their thoughts, worries, or concerns regarding their parents’ separation, as well as their wishes and feelings for future arrangements. Child Focused Mediation does not allow children to make the final decision, but does allow parents to take into account the views of their children and do so with a comprehensive understanding of the needs of each family member. Importantly, it isn’t an opportunity for the children to dictate the arrangements either.
Child Inclusive Mediation, allied with the increasing use of Parenting Apps/websites, such as Our Family Wizard, is creating a much more cohesive framework for the parents to develop a successful co-parenting unit, even though their relationship may have broken down.
It has also been recently announced that the Governments’ Mediation Voucher Scheme has been extended until March 2022 to allow a great number of people to benefit from the scheme which provide vouchers towards the costs of mediation: click for details of the family mediation voucher scheme.
If you would like further information, please visit the Family Mediation Council website. You can also watch this video, compiled by the University of Exeter.
If you would like to discuss mediation options, or any other family issue with our team, and take advantage of our free half hour consultation call us on 01608 686590 or send us an email.