An example of family mediation Debbie & Pete
Helping a couple with a child to resolve access issues
A distraught phone call
Pete called our offices in a very distraught state. His partner, Debbie, had decided that he should not have access to their child after their separation. We talked to Pete about whether there were any substantive reasons, such as ongoing legal issues, which would account for Debbie’s actions. When it seemed that these did not exist, we advised that Pete and Debbie should consider mediation. Pete was initially very sceptical about our decision. He considered that Debbie was most unreasonable, and that she would only grant access if he pursued a legal route. We managed to convince Pete that it would be a good idea if we talked to Debbie to explore the possibility of mediation.
The mediation process
With Debbie’s permission, she agreed to attend a meeting with us, called a MIAMS meeting (Mediation Information and Assessment) which is a precursor to mediation. With Debbie and Pete present, we were also able to talk to their child about what mediation would involve. Despite Debbie’s reservations, it seemed that mediation was a suitable route for them to follow. There were two sides to the story, and Debbie considered that Pete was too unreliable to take care of their daughter as his work and social obligations sometimes got in the way. At first, the mediation meetings were difficult and the mediator had to explain Pete’s position to Debbie. However, after a number of meetings Pete and Debbie decided that, for their child’s sake, they had to reach an agreement.
A happy medium
Pete and Debbie decided that it would be in their mutual interests if Pete was granted some access to see their child, but at times when they both agreed. This was expressed in a Parenting Plan. Moreover, Pete was to endeavour to keep to these meetings so that problems would not occur in the future. We helped Pete and Debbie to produce a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which would show that they had agreed to this arrangement. They were also able to agree what would happen if either of their circumstances changed in the future. Debbie and Pete were able to get on with their lives and make sure that their child felt happy and confident in the future.
If you needing help regarding a separation or divorce then call us today on 01908 966008