Handling divorce and separation sensitively is vital for children. We understand this at Accord Family Mediation and as well as giving you helpful tips and suggestions, we build on your strengths as parents and focus on the needs of your children to help you reach decisions about:
- How your children will share their time with each of you
- Arrangements for holidays and special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas
- Time your children spend with wider family such as grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and other significant figures
- When are new partners introduced and how might this be done
- How you keep each other informed about the children and make important decisions as parents.
- What to say to the children and when to tell them about your divorce or separation.
- Strategies to strengthen or improve communications as co parents and how you might develop a working partnership as separated parents which works for you and is beneficial for your children
Children can be involved in mediation too
So often in separation children’s views can be overlooked as parents are worried about involving their children but studies have shown that children greatly value having a voice at this time. At Accord we offer meetings with children, providing parents, the children and the mediator agrees this will be helpful. Careful planning with parents or carers is undertaken before seeing the children and parents sign written agreements before the children are contacted.
Seeing your children in mediation does not mean the children will make decisions or choose between parents but rather finding out what works well for them or not and any other matter that is important to them. It’s an opportunity for children to speak to someone neutral without feeling disloyal to either of you.
The mediator sees the children in confidence and the mediator will only report back what the children want their parents or carers to hear. Children’s views might then be used to assist parents to make some of their decisions concerning the arrangements for the children, as well as helping parents develop an understanding of how their children are coping.
Our mediators are experienced in direct consultation with children and all have enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks.
You might find the following booklet helpful when considering arrangements for your children: Cafcass parenting plan and separation app
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.