As part of Family Mediation Week (21st-25th January), which aims to raise awareness of mediation and how it can help co-parenting families work through any issues together, Consilia Legal are offering a FREE initial mediation assessment meeting exclusively to Mumblers. Below Sarah Manning, family solicitor and mediator from Consilia Legal shares her advice on how separated parents can successfully co-parent in 2019.
The main enquiries that I have received already in January 2019 seem to be in relation to child matters where Christmas contact arrangements haven’t gone to plan. Now is a good time to look forward to the forthcoming year, reflect on how well arrangements worked last year and devise a plan for the time your children will spend with each parent to ensure that holidays can be planned/booked or simply in an attempt to minimise difficult conversations and manage each parent’s expectations.
Mediation is a fantastic tool to assist separated parents in discussing child care arrangements and co-parenting. In the mediation session, I will often cover matters such as school holiday arrangements, birthdays, Mother’s and Father’s day and Christmas and Easter arrangements as well as the regular time term arrangements. By making arrangements early, it also minimises the children picking up on any hostility between parents and they will be clear on the plans for the forthcoming year as research shows that children like routine and stability.
Having a family mediation session at the beginning of the year may be of real benefit to separated parents for the reasons I have suggested above. There is a cost to mediation unless an individual qualifies for legal aid however compared to the cost of court fees and solicitor’s bills if communication breaks down completely, it is minimal. It also avoids the stress and anxiety that a formal legal process can cause. Mediation is not necessarily something that has to be done each year as it hoped that by going through the mediation process parents develop the tools that they need to successfully co-parent moving forward so that direct discussions can be had in the future without too much difficulty.
So, if childcare arrangements didn’t go as well as you would have hoped last year, my top New Year’s Resolutions for separated parents in 2019 are:
- Have a conversation early in the year to plan ahead;
- Reflect upon last year’s arrangements and think about how you would co-parent more effectively this year;
- Once you have agreed a plan for the year, communicate this to your children (if they are of an appropriate age) so that they are also clear on the arrangements with each of you;
- If you find yourself struggling to agree arrangements with your ex-partner, seek help from a local family mediation service who can assist you in putting together a plan.
For further information about how mediation can assist you to effectively co-parent in 2019, please get in touch and start the year on a positive note!
As part of Family Mediation Week and to raise awareness of the benefits of mediation, I will be offering free initial mediation assessment meetings from 21st-25th January 2019 exclusively to Mumbler readers. To take advantage of this just quote ‘Mumbler’ when making your appointment. To make an appointment please contact me email@example.com or contact me on 0113 58874671.
*This is a sponsored blog post for Consilia Legal*