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Child Consultation

Child Consultation

How does child consultation work?

  • It can be incorporated as part of the overall mediation process
  • Children may ask to be included in the mediation process
  • Parents may ask their mediator for a meeting for their child
  • Children are made aware that their parents will listen to their views but that they as parents will make the final decisions
  • Child consultations last approximately 1 hour
  • A highly trained specialist mediator will have a face to face meeting with the child
  • Siblings will be seen separately or together if they wish
  • Parents can access this service regardless of whether they are using the mediation service
  • There will be an assessment/planning meeting, the child’s meeting and then a feedback meeting for both parents

Why should separating/divorcing couples consider child consultation?

  • Research shows children want their voice to be heard about future arrangements at the time of parental separation and those who have been heard settle better after the separation process is completed
  • Children are often left on the side-lines during the separation process and hearing their child’s voice through a third party enables parents to focus on the needs of the child
  • Children do not necessarily need equal time with each parent, they do need two equal parents
  • Family disputes that are resolved through mediation are cheaper, quicker and according to academic research, less acrimonious than those that are settled through the courts."

    National Audit Office 2/3/07