Child and parenting mediation services

Every parent naturally wants to minimise the distress caused to children when separating. Research consistently shows the way parents manage their separation has a profound impact on their children. Not just at the time, but also later as they grow up.

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You will know what’s best for your child, but our child mediation experts can help you and your partner focus together on the specific needs of each child with our child mediation services.

With child mediation, we help you work out a practical plan for how you can continue to parent your children following separation, and how your child arrangements will work. We offer child mediation services online throughout the UK, helping you reach a parental agreement wherever you’re based. Simply get in touch with us to start planning your child’s future with our expert child and co-parenting mediation services.

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Issues we help with

As experts in family mediation, we can help you and your children move forward with agreements for a range of issues that typically include:

  • Contact and visiting arrangements
  • Residence (often called ‘custody’ arrangements)
  • Co-parenting Mediation: Facilitating cooperative parenting plans and strategies to ensure smooth day-to-day arrangements and long-term planning.
  • Financial issues
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Family disputes

We may also be able to help you with issues outside of these areas. Our services are also appropriate for other adults involved in a child’s life, for example grandparents and step-parents. Simply Get in touch to see how our mediators can help.

Child arrangements mediation

Parents often come to mediation to discuss a particular area of concern where they are finding it difficult to see eye to eye. But very frequently , parents want to discuss all the key questions they need to consider when no longer living together:

  • How are you going to share day-to-day care of your children?
  • What's going to happen during the holidays?
  • What about Christmas and birthdays?
  • How will you make mutually reached decisions about important issues like schools or health matters?

With the help of our child focussed mediation services, we can help you put together a Parenting plan - a joint plan that outlines the agreed child arrangements for the future, a fundamental part of effective co-parenting mediation.

Parent and child mediation is designed to give all parties a voice. Each parent’s personal view is considered, as well as the child’s perspective. This child focussed approach to mediation helps parents reach mutually agreed arrangements that put the child’s needs first.

Child Maintenance Mediation

In the realm of child mediation, addressing financial responsibilities can be crucial. Our child maintenance mediation services aim to facilitate a balanced dialogue about financial support for your children:

  • Determining appropriate child maintenance levels: We facilitate discussions to find a child maintenance arrangement that appropriately reflects your children's needs and each parent's financial capabilities.

  • Adjusting to changing financial circumstances: Life circumstances can change, and we provide support to revisit and adjust child maintenance arrangements as needed, ensuring they remain fair and relevant.

  • Promoting transparency and mutual understanding: Our approach is to ensure that both parents understand their financial options and responsibilities, fostering transparency and cooperation.

By promoting transparency and mutual understanding, we help maintain a cooperative environment, essential for the well-being of your children and maintaining amicable post-separation parental relationships.

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Get in touch with our team to find out how our child and parenting mediation services can help you move forward.

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Giving children a voice - child inclusive mediation

Children can sometimes be unsure, or have mixed feelings about their parents separating. They can often find it hard to explain their feelings to their parents for fear of upsetting them.

We have child mediators who are specially trained to meet with your children. Our trained mediators can offer child consultation, speaking with your child or children separately in order to listen to their wishes and feelings. Child inclusive mediation helps children benefit from this chance to express their perspective. Understanding your child's views helps you to see the whole picture, so you can find better solutions for the whole family.

Amazing what mediation can do. Talking things out with a mediator really does help

children mediation

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The benefits of child mediation

  • Minimise court involvement - child arrangement mediation helps you make the right decisions for your child, whilst minimising the stress, cost and time involved with going to court.
  • It’s confidential our mediators create a welcoming and private environment where both parents are able to voice their concerns.
  • Put your child first - our mediators will help you focus on what each child needs while child inclusive mediation listens directly to your children’s wishes, giving parents the opportunity to make arrangements that take their children’s preferences and hopes into account.
  • It’s voluntary - each parent willingly volunteers to take part in mediation. This often creates a situation where everybody is more willing to listen and speak about matters constructively.
  • Develop better communication methods - mediation for parents not only helps you focus on practical arrangements for your children, but also helps you develop healthy ways of communicating as parents.

Book child mediation today

Child mediation starts with a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (a MIAM). We’re currently conducting these online wherever you’re based in the UK. This is dedicated time for you to tell us about your situation from your own point of view. We explain in detail how child and parent mediation works and start thinking carefully about the emotional and financial implications for your family and children.

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Tel: 0330 320 7600

I liked the way that mediation was non-confrontational and provided an easier way to reach a fair and reasonable outcome

How does child mediation work?

  1. 1. The initial step: Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM)

    The first step in our child mediation process is the Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). This initial meeting lays the foundation for the entire mediation journey. During the MIAM, our experienced mediators will:

    Discuss how mediation works: We'll explain the mediation process, outlining what you can expect and how we tailor our approach to suit your family's unique needs.

    Assess suitability: We'll assess whether mediation is the right approach for your situation, ensuring that it is a safe and effective way to proceed.

    Discuss next steps: If mediation is suitable, we will discuss the next steps, including scheduling further sessions and outlining what information you might need to gather.

    The MIAM is designed to be informative and reassuring, helping you understand how mediation can minimise court involvement and lead to amicable resolutions. By the end of this meeting, you'll have a clear understanding of the mediation process and how it can benefit your family situation.

    To start your mediation journey, get in touch with us to arrange your MIAM.

  2. 2. Write to the other party

    If you are interested in mediation, we’ll need consent from both parents to participate in child and parent mediation sessions. We can help advise on the best way to approach the other parent to mediate.
  3. 3. Child and parent mediation session

    Once both parents agree to participate, we initiate the first child and parent mediation session. This session can be conducted in online separate "virtual rooms" if necessary, ensuring comfort and privacy for all parties involved.

    Discussing child arrangements: We’ll focus on arrangements such as day-to-day care, holidays, and special occasions like birthdays and Christmas. Our aim is to help you develop a shared plan for these arrangements.

    Addressing financial responsibilities: Child maintenance and financial support discussions are integral to ensuring your children’s needs are met. We will guide you through these conversations to establish mutually acceptable and practical financial arrangements.

    Exploring education and health matters: Decisions about schooling, healthcare, and other significant matters will be addressed, ensuring that both parents contribute to these important choices.

    Involving children's voices: If deemed appropriate, one of our specialist mediators may speak directly with your children to understand their wishes, ensuring their perspectives contribute to the decision-making process. Our goal during the mediation session is to assist you in sharing your concerns, exploring options, and collaboratively finding solutions.

  4. 4. Make agreements

    Come to an agreement that puts your child, or children, first. Our mediation sessions are designed to give each parent the opportunity to voice their concerns and wishes, address issues and find workable solutions. Move forward with child arrangements and parent agreements that give your children the best chance in life.

Get started with child mediation

From child custody, child arrangements and parenting agreements, find a mutually agreed solution with child mediation services. Get in touch with us to begin the process, or find out more.

Get in touch

Tel: 0330 320 7600

Our child mediation team

Meet the dedicated professionals behind our expert child mediation services. Each member of our team brings a wealth of experience and a compassionate approach to help families navigate through challenging times. We understand the importance of trust and expertise in mediation, which is why we encourage you to learn more about our mediators' backgrounds and qualifications.

Discover how our team can support your family's journey towards resolution by visiting Our team page.

Child mediation FAQs

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about the child mediation process. Remember to ask your mediator any other questions that you have in your Individual Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (a MIAM)

How much does child mediation cost?  

The cost of child mediation varies based on the complexity of your case and the number of sessions required. We strive to offer affordable services and can provide more detailed pricing information during your initial Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

Can a child go to mediation?  

Children can be involved in the mediation process, particularly in child inclusive mediation, where the mediator may ask the child questions. This allows children to express their feelings and preferences, which can be important in reaching a fair agreement.

Is family mediation legally binding?  

The agreements reached in family mediation are not legally binding by themselves. However, they can be made legally binding through a consent order if both parties agree.

What is mediation for child access?  

Mediation for child access involves discussions and negotiations to reach an agreement on how parents will share the care and access to their children post-separation or divorce.

How to prepare for child mediation?  

To prepare for child mediation, consider the outcomes you wish to achieve, gather any relevant documents, and be ready to discuss and compromise on various aspects of your child's care and well-being.

How long does children’s mediation take?  

Every case is different, and the complexity will affect the time needed to reach a resolution. Each mediation meeting can last between one and two hours. Often, mediation regarding children requires two to three sessions. This usually takes between two and three months from beginning to end. Meanwhile, going to court for child arrangements can take six to twelve months, making mediation the quicker route by far.

When you meet your mediator, and they assess your case in the MIAM, they will be able to give you a more accurate timescale.

Do my children need to be involved in the mediation process?  

Children can sometimes be unsure or have mixed feelings about their parents separating. They may find it hard to explain to their parents about how they really feel for fear of upsetting them.

Mediation First are trained to meet with your children directly, to allow them to express their own wishes and feelings within the mediation process.

Our experience is that children really benefit from having this chance to talk to us. For you, as parents, that understanding of your children’s perspective helps you see the whole picture, so you can find solutions that work best for them too.

What accessibility support is available during mediation sessions?  

For any parents or children involved in mediation, we make every effort to accommodate accessibility needs during mediation sessions. Be sure to let Mediation First know any disabilities, learning difficulties, sensory needs, or health issues that we need to make allowances for. We can also arrange for translators and interpreters to be present during sessions to facilitate understanding in the case of any language barriers.

Do we have to sit in the same room?  

Mediation focuses on communication, not confrontation. The main aim of mediation is to help individuals reach an agreement, and feel comfortable and safe in doing so.

In cases where you think you might not feel comfortable in the same room as the other participant, we are able to facilitate separate rooms throughout the process. We offer online mediation, allowing you to join the mediation session from the comfort of your own home.

If you have any concerns, you will be able to discuss these in confidence with your mediator during your MIAM session, which involves a 1:1 meeting with one of our expert mediators.

How can mediation help with difficult family dynamics?  

It’s a common misconception that mediation is only intended for separated couples who have maintained a co-operative relationship. However, this is not the case. In fact, the majority of couples who come to Mediation First do so because they are at loggerheads and have reached an impasse.

For most, there has been a complete breakdown in communication, and it is common for couples to have not seen one another for a long time. The bottom line is that mediation can help most couples and families.

This can be a concern for those who are thinking about mediation. You might be worried that your ex-partner will:

  • Dominate and steamroller the discussions.
  • Pressurise you into an unfair arrangement.
  • Speak over you and interrupt you.
  • Try to mislead you because they have a greater level of financial knowledge.
  • Try to win over and charm the mediator.
  • Use the negotiation process as a means of continuing intimidation.

Our mediators are trained to deal with difficult dynamics, and can manage these scenarios in various ways to ensure the discussion remains fair and participants feel safe. The MIAM meeting is an excellent opportunity for you to raise any concerns you might have.

Mediation services we offer

Learn more about mediation

Online mediation
Family mediation, from anywhere in the UK
Learn more about online mediation
Understanding Family Mediation