Our Commitment to You
Research clearly shows that children benefit from co-operative parenting arrangements following separation and divorce. Alternatively, children suffer long-term emotional harm when they find themselves in the firing range of conflict and are used as weapons in their parents’ dispute - usually unintentionally, but the harm is done. Family mediation provides the best forum for working out these arrangements. You are after all their parents, and the best people to make the choices about their future. Research repeatedly shows this. Don't use the children as weapons!
We believe that there is even more to be gained from family mediation where parents have become entrenched in court proceedings. Judges repeatedly warn that Courts are seldom suitable places for sorting out such conflicts and that mediation must be tried over and again. Just because you are already involved in Court proceedings does not mean that you can’t try mediation or some other form of Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR.
Our Commitment to your Children
Children are not usually seen in mediation, but their voices are always heard. Their interests must always be considered first, whether in considering the day to day arrangements, or in working out how to make the money stretch to meet their needs for a suitable home. Whilst our mediators remain impartial, we will do our very best to make sure that your focus remains fixed on their needs and that their wishes and feelings are listened to. And where it is felt important that they do participate in the mediation, we will set that up. Consulting with your Children
Our Commitment to Change
Every client is in a unique situation. No two cases are ever the same. We all have something to learn from every mediation. We open our doors to mediators from all over the UK, hosting events, development of skills days, seminars, consultancy so we can all learn from each other, constantly improving and changing the service that we can offer you.
In the same way, we believe that every relationship can be changed and transformed - from one of separating or divorcing partners, entrenched, often bitter, and set on fighting the battle, to one of co-operating parents, committed to working together for the common interests of their children. We want to play our part in helping that change to happen, whether it is as continuing parents, or in the wider climate of co-operation which we hope is taking the place of the family litigation culture that has existed for centuries.
The Expectations of Others
The Judges: Midlands Judges have made it very clear that Courts should be a last resort and that parents must always strive to work together in their children's interests. Read their statement of expectations here.
One of our mediators has tried to express this in a few words for you and your children. Read Our Child's Charter here
The Government: The recent response to the Family Justice Review makes clear the Government's commitment to family mediation. It has been widely misreported, especially on the issue of "shared parenting," and you can read what it does say here.
Some other things that may help:
You are not alone, and many people have shared their experiences in helpful ways that you can access easily. There are plenty of excellent resources out there for children and for parents. We have listed these on a separate sheet here.
It can be particularly helpful to work together on a parenting plan for your child, or we can help you do this in mediation. When constructing your own Parenting Plan, we still find Cafcass' earlier version the most helpful tool. You can find this in our information bank.
On Children - Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
Best in the sung version by Sweet Honey in the Rock on "Good News" (Flying Fish Records) and on YouTube