Private Mediation

McKenzie Friend | Andrew Weeden, supporting individuals through stress and anxiety with tailored counselling to suit you

We recently launched our *new Intermediary and Private Mediation Service.

Our aim is to, like a number of Law Professionals, better support parents and the Family Court, in arriving at Child Arrangements Orders while taking away as much of the acrimony and time-lag as possible, from the process.

Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, more applications for Child Arrangements have been filed than ever before.

This is largely down to the number of relationships which have faltered as a consequence of families being confined together during the three lockdowns.

It is very sad when a relationship ends. But sometimes it is for the best interests of everyone involved. Especially any children.

But when a relationship has ended, it seems that the first thought on everyones’ mind is to rush into the Family Court for divorce and/or child arrangements.

This is not how the Court intended itself to be used.

And what everyone forgets, is that when you ask a Court to make a judgement, control of the process has passed to the Judge and out of your hands.

When a Judge has to make decisions, because you cannot, the outcome is far from guaranteed. Moreover, we have seen a great many dissatisfied customers who ended up with Orders imposed upon them that they did not like or agree with.

To take back control of the process is to find ways of agreeing the difficult things.

The best use of the Court is to take matters that have been agreed in advance, and ask the Court to frame them into an Order by Consent. This keeps the vast majority of control in your hands and not in the hands of a system that does not know or understand what your needs and wants are.

We introduced our Private Mediation service to address this need.

How it works is rather simple.

We are neutral advisers. We do not judge you or your circumstances, or the people involved.

Treating all parties as equal, and recognising the rights of the Child, we sit in between you and your ex partner and help you to come to arrangements which are suitable to both of you, and most of all, suitable to your children.

All we ask is that you are both willing to compromise where necessary.

Compromise does not have to mean one or other of you are in control. Instead it recognises that you both have parental responsibility and that your Child(/ren) have the right to spend time with both of you — as equitably as possible.

Children are not pawns in a game of who is right and who is wrong.

A common misconception is that one parent gets to decide everything for the Children. This is not correct.

Eg. a separated mother believes that she has the right to decide how often her children get to see their father. Or vice versa.

If you have parental responsibility, ie you are the biological parent and named on the Child’s birth certificate, in law, you are equal — and you have equal entitlement to spend time with your Children.

Do not make the mistake so many have, and believe everything you read on social media or within Facebook groups. It will end up costing you emotionally and financially.

You do not have to like one another, or particularly get along, in order to come up with safe parenting plans.

We work with your circumstances. If things are difficult, we manage that by better planning how hand overs take place. Eg. using the school as a neutral point for dropping children and collecting them afterwards.

Read more about our service here.

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