This is the second of three blogs by Austin Chessell 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 refer to the blogs section of the ASMADR website or contact us on enquiries@ASMADR.co.uk

 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 financial matters are to be considered.

Clients often ask me how they can get the most out of Family Mediation to reach proposals in mediation.

Here are 10 points to consider for mediations relating to children:

  • For children matters it is quite rare to decide on childcare being shared 50/50. I am not saying this never happens but most of the parents and family members I work with realise in the joint sessions that this is not in the best interests of the children.
  • Think about how the childcare could work that is child focused. Do you want to care for the children daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly? How will the holidays and special occasions work? Based on the child’s age what would work best for the children?
  • Are your children old enough and do you both agree for them to be involved in the mediation process to discuss their wishes and feelings?
  • If either of you has a new partner at what stage do you both feel is appropriate to introduce the children to the new partner?
  • If you both have a different religion how will this influence how the children are educated about religion post separation?
  • If communication is not easy between both of you how do you propose to let each other know key information about your children? If it is hard to communicate face to face would a contact book work?
  • Where is the best place for you to collect your child and return your child at the end of the time you spend together? If things get heated where you live would meeting in a public place be better in the short term?
  • For how long should the children proposals run before they need to be reviewed?
  • If you plan to go on holiday abroad with the children what needs to be communicated to the other parent so that they feel fully informed about the travel plans?
  • If you both agree for one parent to relocate abroad with the children how will childcare work for the parent that does not relocate? Will the parent that does not relocate see the children more during the school holidays?