This is the first of three blogs that will be published on the ASMADR website pending a family mediation evening for family solicitors, accountants and other professionals to be held in East London on 18 October 2018. For details please contact us on or telephone 07476 279 307

 Austin Chessell is an Accredited Family Mediator, Child Mediator and Family Mediation Supervisor. Austin is also the convener of ASMADR’s Family Team. He can meet with you across London at one of our meeting rooms in Oxford Street, Stratford, Hampstead, Angel, Hammersmith and Croydon or alternatively he can work online.

In his next ASMADR blog which will be published in a few days, Austin advises as to how divorcing couples should best prepare for a mediation where issues affecting children will be considered.


Social services regularly refer Family Mediation matters to us when they feel we can help.

This year we were referred a father. He was not going through an easy time and his child was being cared for by one of his friends and his mother.

Things had reached a point whereby social services did not feel that the father was coping and arrangements needed to be in place in case the father was not able to cope again.

In the mediation joint session, the father proposed that his friend and his mother also be given parental responsibility to care for the child.

In the short term the father was willing for the child to live with his best friend and that he could see the child when he wanted during the day.

The father was also willing for the best friend and mother to make decisions for the schooling and medical treatment of the child if he was not in the right position to make these decisions.

There was also a meeting with the child to see if they shared the same wishes and feelings.

The father hoped that this was a short-term solution and that with the professionals and courses he was working with that in 12 months things could be reviewed.

After Family Mediation finished we prepared a Memorandum of Understanding document setting out the proposals. The clients used this document to provide to their Solicitor to draft the proposals that were reached in mediation. The Solicitor then drafted the legal papers so that an application could be made to a Judge in the Family Court for approval of the decisions that were reached in mediation.

The feedback I received from those involved in the mediation was that the process was quick and informal. They were pleased that they avoided Court and that instead they had been able to talk things through and make decisions together.