Family mediation is fundamentally an inclusive process, and that means where children are involved, mediation can incorporate not only the biological parents’ points of view, but also those of step-parents, other family members and legal guardians, and the children themselves.
The importance of including children in legal processes that affect them is still receiving growing recognition not only within the legal sector and among families, but at parliamentary level – in 2015 the Justice Minister at the time, Simon Hughes, said that “for too long, children and young people have struggled to have their voices heard during the family court process”.
Mediation by definition gives a voice to all concerned, and ensures that no one person can shout louder than the rest; children, although young and likely less experienced, are by no means counted out of holding a valid point of view, especially on issues that will affect their future, such as custody, residency and guardianship.
Family mediation with children is also a two-way street, and allows the legal process itself to feed back to young people who are involved in the case at hand – a means by which to provide reassurance and a sense of inclusion, and to prepare children for the eventual outcomes of the case.
Even where it is not appropriate or even not possible to engage children in the legal process itself – for example because they are very young – mediation has become the go-to option for family law procedures especially where children are affected.
It provides parents with some emotional space to discuss their children’s futures via a mediator, who can help to make sure both parties’ views are heard, and to keep the discussions under control if they begin to get heated or emotional.
This helps to avoid distress for the parents when settling a divorce, while steering the process towards a positive outcome for all concerned, with a particular focus on achieving a swift and positive result for the young people who are affected, and who are often the most vulnerable individuals in any instance of family law.
After the Mediation
By using accredited family mediation techniques and by simply being there for you when you need it, Marcia Mediation will take you way beyond your seperation so that you and your family are aligned towards the overall happiness of everyone.
A pioneer for mediation since commencing legal practice as a family solicitor some seventeen years ago Marcia has worked exclusively as an independent mediator since 2004, focusing initially on family mediation, and latterly on work place mediation.
Marcia’s accreditations include both Work Place and Family Mediation and she is a qualified child consultant practitioner. Her associations include the Professional Mediators Association and Resolution.