More than one in three children will see their parents split up before they reach their 16th birthday.
Voice of the child
In a recent study over 60% of children of divorce felt parents had not ensured they were part of the decision making process in their separation or divorce.
An overwhelming majority of children agreed it was important to make sure that children did not feel like they had to choose between parents.
If you have children their needs and wellbeing will be at the heart of any discussions in mediation. Research with children following separation and divorce shows that the majority of children are not consulted by their parents about what happens to them. Not only can this lead to arguments between parents, who may each believe they know what is best, it can leave children feeling confused, insecure and distressed. Children who are given the opportunity to talk and given a role in decisions about arrangements for them are more likely to feel positive about their situation and cope better.
One way to understand the wishes and feelings of children and to ensure that their interests are central to decisions is to offer them the opportunity to have a private meeting with a specially trained mediator – this is known as Child Inclusive Mediation or Direct Child Consultation.
Child Inclusive Mediation is only undertaken with the consent of both parents and the agreement of the child(ren). It allows children to have a voice in the decisions that affect them but it is not about getting them to make those decisions. Child Inclusive Mediation affords a child the opportunity to think about their needs in a safe and confidential environment without the fear of upsetting either parent.
The process itself involves the child(ren) meeting with the specially trained mediator on their own for between 60-90 minutes. Each child will be given an opportunity to openly and confidentially discuss their thoughts, feelings and ideas with the mediator and only those things the child agrees to will be fed back to the parents. The feedback will be given to the parents in a separate session, often both individually and together.
Our Child Inclusive Mediator comes to mediation from a psychotherapeutic background making her uniquely qualified among the Child Inclusive trained mediators in the Tunbridge Wells area.
If you would like more information regarding Child Inclusive Mediation and how it may be helpful in your situation please call Lesley on 01892 537999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org