If you’re in the early stages of parenting separately, then there are practical decisions and arrangements about your children to discuss with the other parent, even when it is an amicable between you.  This is in addition to the legal side of a separation.

Often, the first consideration is what to tell the children about your separation and when. In mediation, you can decide what to say and consider age-appropriate language to use together. Try to avoid sending mixed messages or discuss housing arrangements if this has not yet been agreed. With any conversation with your children, it is important not to undermine the other parent in any way.

With the expert of a mediator, separated parents can discuss what parenting apart means. If it helps, a document known as a ‘Parenting Plan’ can be drawn up by a mediator which sets out some common ground and guidelines. You as parents can include as much or as little detail as you want about schooling, contact, special occasions, communication and more. You can consider the interim arrangements and revisit the longer term arrangements if you wish to do so.

Talking about your children in a confidential and comfortable setting at a time that suits you both enables parents to achieve better outcomes. Separation is one of the most distressing experiences you can go through and the mediation process is designed to help you as parents to communicate effectively. The alternatives to sorting out the arrangements via solicitors and/or the court process is stressful, and often more so. In any event, the family court encourages the mediation process and insists that a parent meets a mediator for an information and assessment meeting first.

If you would like to find out more about my family and divorce mediation service in central Bristol, then feel free to telephone me on 07510711453, send me an email to kate@lovegrovemediation.uk or fill out the contact form here.