Splitting up or divorcing a partner can often become complicated especially when finance and childcare arrangements are concerned. For Family Mediation Week 2019 we have pulled together some information on how you can minimise the upset for your children throughout this process.
Your mediator does not make decisions for you; they remain impartial throughout the process, providing information on legal principles. Tensions can often be raised when debating the things that matter most. It’s important to remain focused on the matter concerned and not to let emotions take over the dialogue. The mediator will guide you through the process and assist you in settling the practical issues with your partner.
Keep them in the loop
Children know everything, whether we like to admit it or not. They can sense changes in their environment and pick up on hostility and upset very quickly. Depending on the age of the child concerned, educate them on the situation, reminding them that they are the focus throughout the process.
Understand their needs
Naturally as a parent you will want to have full custody of your child to ensure they are safe. You must consider what is in fact best for the child, whether one parent must have full custody due to exceptional circumstances or if both parents can commit to shared custody due to work commitments.
Ensure that throughout the mediation process you keep asking how your child is feeling and take note of any changes in their behaviour. This process can affect all members of the family in very different ways. It may be worth considering therapy sessions for your child to allow them to speak with someone external to the family.
Kath Hill, Head of the Family Law team, is an accredited mediator and specialises in dealing with financial and children’s issues. If you would organise a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to find our more about this service, please contact us on 0191 384 2441 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.