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The Children

We work with you to help you both make important decisions regarding the care of your children or grandchildren or other children in your family. 

We work with you to help you both make important decisions regarding the care of your children or grandchildren or other children in your family.

Whilst you may no longer have a relationship as partners it is important that you can continue to communicate as parents. Family mediation can help to equip you with the skills so that you can parent together going forwards for the benefit of your children.

Separation is difficult and painful for all involved and all members of the family may have different worries and concerns, including and importantly your children. All the research shows that it is HOW your separation is handled which is what matters to children far and above the actual separation.

If separation happened some time ago and things are difficult then through the process of mediation you can work with Sally to move forward in a constructive and pragmatic manner.

Typical issues that arise which you may need assistance with are:

  • Where your children live
  • How often your children spend time with the other party
  • What is the most appropriate shared care arrangement
  • Working out arrangements for term times and holiday periods
  • Where should your children go to school
  • Should your children re-locate to a different area of the country or overseas

Mediation involving children tends to take place over 2 or more sessions. Just as separation is a process so is mediation.

In the first session we work out an interim arrangement and discuss how to trial different forms of communication. Mediation is a safe space to discuss and test out new arrangements/ways of working together without fear of being legally bound by discussions unless or until you agree such arrangements work and are right for both of you and most importantly your children.

In second and possibly further sessions we look at arrangements for the longer term.

Under the Child Arrangements Programme which is the legal process for resolving issues the law very clearly states that Mediation should be considered at every stage.

Sally our principle accredited mediator sits as the family mediation representative on the private children sub-group of the family justice board in West Yorkshire and is actively involved in shaping mediation policy and how the Court deals with mediation prior to and as part of local protocols within Court proceedings.

Child Inclusive Mediation

Under the Voice of the Child protocol which was introduced in 2014 for looking at involving children in the family justice system, children aged 10 and over are actively encouraged to have a voice. In Court proceedings this can involve speaking to CAFCASS, speaking to the Judge or writing a letter to the Court.

Children can also be directly involved in the family mediation setting. If you have children aged 8 and above then Sally Clark, our highly experienced Child Inclusive Mediator can speak, with your consent, to your children so they have a voice in the process and feel involved as important members of your family.

Sally holds the necessary additional mediation qualification to enable her to speak to your children if you would like them to be involved as part of the process. As a former mental health nurse experienced in working with young people and as a mother of two children herself Sally is very adept in dealing sensitively with children and young adults.

In cases where child inclusive mediation takes place then following the initial meeting with parents and obtaining parents consent and also the consent of your child/children then Sally will arrange to meet with your children in one of our dedicated child mediation rooms, or at school or other neutral location your children feels comfortable attending and have a confidential discussion. Sally then has a feedback meeting with you and the other party with the intention of agreeing a way forward. Child Inclusive Mediation is a way of enabling your children's voices to be heard and shared without having to involve them in protracted legal proceedings.

The major difference in CAFCASS speaking to children as part of the Child Arrangements Programme in Court and Child Inclusive Mediation is that whatever your children say to Sally will, in the absence of any safeguarding issues, only be fed back to parents with your child's consent. Child Inclusive Mediation is intended to be a safe space for your child or your children to air their concerns and speak to Sally and then agree a statement to feedback to parents.

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Divorce & Separation

We offer up-to-date legal expertise and a Divorce & Separation service you can both trust and rely on.

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Financial & Property

For any couple faced with separation, finances will be a difficult and hotly contested area of discussion.

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Arrangements for Children

We work sympathetically with both parents to avoid any unnecessary upset for the children involved.

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