One of the key roles of mediation is to reduce the level of stress involved in family law cases like divorce, and this is particularly important when children are involved.
But children can still become very worried if they are not engaged in the process as it is taking place – which is why inclusive child mediation can make good sense, so that they know what is happening at all times.
Involving children in mediation allows them to have their own voice and their own say about their future, which not only helps to make sure their views are taken into account, but can also help to dispel some of the bitterness that might be felt between the parents during a turbulent separation or divorce.
This is a principle that is both old and new. Organisations within the mediation sector have been campaigning for children’s voices to be heard for decades, but the government have only really taken action on this over the past few years.
As recently as 2014-15, the then Justice Minister Simon Hughes was still setting out proposals to change mediation to be more inclusive of children.
In February 2015, he said: “For too long, children and young people have struggled to have their voices heard during the family court process.
“Although they are often at the centre of proceedings, the views of children and how they feel are often not heard, with other people making vital decisions for them.”
Inclusive child mediation prevents young people from being patronised by the system – when many are old enough or smart enough to have a clear idea of what they want following their parents’ separation.
But crucially, even for those who are not able to make their own decisions about their future, the increased level of engagement can make sure they do not feel as though they are being ‘left out’ when it comes to making those decisions on their behalf.
Marcia Mediation boast qualified child consultants, which means we’re allowed to consult with your child should you wish to include them in the process.