Mediation and the Child’s Voice
Feedback from children who have been through a divorce/separation whilst growing up shows there is strong opinion about the right to be heard and children’s desire to have a voice before decisions are made about their futures. After all these are decisions which will affect their daily lives and which could impact on their physical and emotional health. As a result of extensive research, radical recommendations around the participation of children in court proceedings have already been made and children could increasingly have their voices heard in the future.
Using a specially trained mediator to meet and listen to your children is one way of gauging their views. Involving your children in mediation doesn’t mean your children will be given the power of making decisions. This could cause additional difficulties and feelings of guilt for the children.
Involving children in discussions and asking a neutral person to listen to them, does provide an opportunity for them to express their concerns and views, to share their experiences of their parents’ separation and for these views to be considered sensitively by the parents making the decisions.
Involving children in mediation can also provide an opportunity to explain concepts and share information with children in a safe environment. This can reduce anxiety for your children, helping them adjust to the new situation.
Children will only be consulted if both parents consent to this. The meeting between the child(ren) and the mediator is confidential with agreed feedback to the parents only being given with the child(ren)’s consent.
For more information about how you can help your children at this sensitive time you may like to explore the link below which includes downloadable leaflets.
Find out more at the Resolution website.