…What is it?
If your parents split up, you have the right to have a say in the arrangements they make for you.
Some parents work things out by talking with their children and agreeing things together, but it’s much more difficult for you when parents disagree or can’t speak to each other.
It means you talking face to face with the mediator, separately from your parents. This is on the basis that what you say is completely confidential from anyone else. This means that the mediator will not tell your parents what you have said – unless it is something that you want them to know. Maybe something you would like your parents to take into consideration when making their decisions?
So what happens?
One of your parents will bring you to meet with the mediator. You will be able to talk to the mediator on your own, without your parents present.
You are not asked to make choices or take responsibility for decisions and the conversation is confidential – the mediator does not make reports to the court like a social worker and only passes on the messages, wishes or suggestions to parents that you ask them to. If you have brothers or sisters they can be seen separately or together, depending on what you would prefer. We talk to children from the ages of 4 – 34.
After the meeting, the mediator will feedback to your parents about your meeting, but will only feedback what YOU want your parents to know. If there’s something that you find difficult to tell your parents the mediator can do it for you. Generally we would only meet with you once, but if you thought of something else you wanted to say to us, we would happily meet with you again.
Feedback from young people shows they found it very helpful to meet with the mediator who knows both their parents and who can help explain things to parents. Young people are in the middle and so is the mediator! Parents say they found it very helpful to understand better how their children feel and what would help to make things work better for them. Often, parents take their children’s ideas on board and things get settled by agreement without court proceedings, or if court proceedings are already going on, they may be brought to an end by consent.