Children & Divorce/Separation
Divorce or separation is bound to be upsetting and it is natural to get caught up in your own thoughts and feelings. However, if you are a parent, your first thoughts should be for your children. They really do not want to hear that Dad (or Mum) is bad. Why not let them hold on to the good bits of their lives with Dad (or Mum)? Why not let them continue to have as happy a relationship as possible with both parents?
So put your own problems aside, be a responsible parent and put your children first. Encourage them to think the best of the other parent. Try to remember that even very bad people have their good points.
Perhaps you need help in encouraging the other parent to do the same for you. This is where Family Mediation can be very useful. If you are not even on speaking terms with your ex, it is difficult to get him (or her) to listen at all. It is therefore difficult to get him/her to see reason even when you are making good, unselfish suggestions for the sake of the children. If you are struggling to get through to your ex, Mediation can help.
How Can Mediation Help?
Family Mediation helps by getting you and your ex together in an environment which is free from distractions and where it is safe for you to speak your thoughts. The mediator is there to ensure that your ex will listen and does understand what you are saying. The mediator will help you stay calm as you listen to what your ex has to say and will help you to understand things from his point of view.
Why Would I Want To Go To Mediation?
You will be surprised how much mediation can help iron out the problems and save you a lot of aggravation and frustration. More importantly, it can help you to ensure that your children do not suffer through your separation or divorce.
What Issues Will Be Discussed At Mediation?
Absolutely anything can be discussed in Mediation. If you want to make something known to your ex, say it. If you would like to child contact – When? Where? What? How? – do this. If you would like to discuss looking after their hamster, do this.
You may even already have a Separation or Divorce agreement. Despite this, there are often many problems regarding the children.
- The agreed contact is not not being kept.
- The contact times no longer suit.
- Who takes care of the children in school holidays?.
- Taking the children away on holiday.
- The involvement of a new partner.
- Which activities would you like them to continue (or take up) and how can you make this possible?
It makes life easier for you, as well as your children, if you can agree on practical considerations. For example, the procedure if one of you is held up and cannot pick up or drop off the children on time; which clothes or favourite teddies or games have to go along with the children. When you are separated or divorced, unforeseen problems will arise from time to time. Family Mediation can be used at any point.
We had a Separation Agreement which covered child contact but we still had problems with arrangements. Mediation helped sort these out. We are now back on track and know how to deal with the problems which come up. I for one feel a lot less stressed.