Child Inclusive Mediation

In assisting parents to arrive at good decisions for their children’s arrangements, The Wells Process includes an invitation for the children to meet separately with the mediator.  This is called ‘child-inclusive mediation’.

Child-inclusive mediation gives children of a suitable age the opportunity to express their feelings and wishes for the future.  It also reassures them that their parents are taking their views seriously, although it is made clear to them that they are not being given the power to make decisions, just to say what they think and feel about their situation. The mediator will check with the children exactly what they wish to be fed back to the parents.  The mediator will then have a separate meeting with the parents at which the children’s views are reported back to them.

Key points about talking to children in mediation:

  • Both parents must give their consent
  • Children do not have to attend if they don’t want to
  • Children can be seen individually or together, whichever they prefer
  • Children’s confidentiality is respected at all times, unless a serious risk of harm is disclosed
  • The mediator will agree with the children what views may be fed back to the parents
  • Those views are fed back to the parents at a separate meeting

Child Inclusive Mediation offers children a safe and neutral space to be heard.  The children’s true desires can then be taken into account when making decisions about any future child arrangements.

There’s a wealth of research to show that children benefit from being consulted in this way.   Many families have found this to be an invaluable process.

You did more in 4 hours than our lawyers had done in 1 year. For that I am very grateful.

I would like to thank you for the time you have spent in achieving in 4 hours, what we never achieved in 4 months. I think it is by far a much better process than solicitors and court.

I honestly feel that we now have a good chance of proceeding in an amicable way that hopefully in time will become a friendship with the children at its core. I do not think we would have achieved this through solicitors, and feel huge gratitude for your patience and gentleness.

It’s so much better to go through this process together in a calm and neutral setting, rather than being defensive at home or seeing a solicitor individually. You’ve been a great adviser on a tricky topic and the meetings were really productive.

Throughout this whole horrible process we have both felt that the system is designed to leave us hating each other and to have had your support in helping us get to this point has meant a great deal, so thank you for your support of us both and for reflecting everything so well.

Thank you for all you have done to make a very sad and painful process somewhat less painful!

Thanks for all your help. We are talking a lot more and generally getting on much better, we even stood next to each other at rugby AND are going to parents’ evening together!

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