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The Situation:

We see this all too often; a marriage breakdown following domestic violence in the context of which an estranged mother is denied contact with her children by her husband.


As a result of a sequence of mediation sessions facilitated by me, Elaine who was the victim of domestic violence and was forced to flee the family home was able to re-establish contact with her estranged children and to start to rebuild her life.  The channels of communication that I helped to create have resulted in a viable mutually acceptable child contact agreement.

How Mediation Changed the Outcome:

Quite simply, without my input Elaine might not have been able to re-establish contact with her children.

The Scenario

Read more to learn exactly what happened and how ASM Plus helped:

Elaine contacted me as she wanted to see her three children aged between three and eight, who she had not seen for four months and who were residing with her abusive estranged husband, Peter. She explained that she was homeless with no income and had left the family home because she was in fear of her life. Friends had allowed her to stay on their sofa for a while but she appreciated that this was not a sustainable arrangement.

Peter had decided that Elaine could not see the children unless she repaid money that he claimed she owed him. Elaine was adamant that nothing was owed and explained that the alleged debt related to the costs incurred in respect of emergency cosmetic surgery for injuries inflicted by Peter.

It took some time to open the channels of communication that ultimately encouraged Peter to properly engage with Elaine in mediation and to agree to arrangements so that Elaine could see the children. Meanwhile, I signposted Elaine to her local housing department to make a homelessness application.

Initially it was agreed through a mediation session that twice a week Elaine could collect the children after school, have them for an hour and then return them to the family home.

Subsequently Elaine was moved into emergency accommodation. In the course of a further mediation session mediation which I facilitated the initial contact arrangement was changed so that she could have the children for longer periods of time.


When Elaine was finally allocated accommodation suitable for both her and the children, a final mediation session resulted in an agreement that she could have the children for overnight stays at the weekend and for longer periods during school holidays. By this stage, because my mediation sessions had helped to calm things down, Elaine’s confidence had grown to the extent that she felt she was ready to file for divorce. It is anticipated that a mutually acceptable long-term agreement will be made.

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