Family Mediation

At Children1st we recognise that no matter how long it is since you separated it is normal for there to be difficult times and strong feelings, particularly when you are struggling to find some mutual ground about contact with children and in relation to finalise finances as part of divorce.

We aim to work at your pace to help you to unblock possible road blocks and to pave a new way forward together. We don’t judge, take any one side or tell you what to do. We help you both to stay in control of the decisions.

How it works

What is it?

Family Mediation is an opportunity for parents who are separating/ separated or divorcing family to sort out the practical issues, such as arranging access to children and resolving any financial issues in a way which works for everyone.

Family Mediators helps parents/carers to reach well-informed decisions that are practical and seem fair to both of them, without taking sides or trying to influence their decisions in any way.

The parents/carers work together with the mediator to identify what needs to be settled, explore the options available, discuss individual and collective concerns, and consider ways of reaching agreement on the things each feel need to be resolved.

Family Mediation helps parents to stay in control over the decisions without the need for these decisions to be settled through solicitors or in court. Even if your case has already gone to court, its not too late to mediate.

Where appropriate we also consider speaking to the children.


An initial meeting (MIAM) separately with the mediator. This is for us to find out more about your situation,  tell you more about the process of mediation; assess whether it is suitable; whether you may be eligible for legal aid;  give you an opportunity to ask questions and for us to work out together it is suitable for mediation.


What should I expect at a first mediation meeting?

What happens at a first joint mediation meeting will vary depending on the particular issues and circumstances of your family. Every family is different.The Mediator will decide how best to arrange for you and your ex-partner to come together* with the mediator to discuss the different issues that you are having together.

We will usually speak to you together, give you both the chance to talk about the things that you want to sort out in the meeting. we help you to hear things from one another and what you both want to achieve.

Your goals may be different from those of the other person you are mediating with. Once the mediator has established what the issues are and what you both want to achieve they will work through the issues with you both to see whether you are both able to reach an agreement.

Mediators are trained to help you both to look at different options for your situation and to make sure you both understand what the options would mean to each of you i.e. how they would affect each of you.

At the end of the meeting the mediator will summarise what you have decided to do and they will write it up for you and send a copy to you both, this is sometimes called a summary or an MOU.

You may not reach a full agreement with the other person in the first meeting and if this is the case, another mediation appointment will be arranged to enable you both to continue your discussions with the help of the mediator.

Mediation meetings are usually 1 1/2hrs long.

*It isn’t always possible for both people to come face to face, the mediator will determine this and if required can arrange the mediation in separate rooms (shuttle).

You always have the option to return to mediation in the future.


Child Welfare Mediation

This is for parents/carers where there is difficult in resolving the arrangements for children as a result of allegations founded or unfounded about the safety and well-being of children. These concerns may be raised by either parents/carers or professionals, including Social Workers.

The concerns often relate to difficulties in the parents/carers own lives, or behaviour towards one another, which may be affecting their ability to focus on the arrangements for their children.

Child Welfare Mediation is managed by trained skilled Family Mediators who are also trained in Child Protection and Child inclusive Mediation.

“You have helped to change my view of mediation”
“We were so impressed by how the mediator worked and can’t quite believe how well
things are working now after only 1 meeting.


Click here to get additional information about how you can support your child following separation and divorce.