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Published On: January 13, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

Family Mediation Week – Child Inclusive Mediation

Choosing a mediator

If, as a parent, you are considering child-inclusive mediation your mediator must have enhanced criminal records clearance and have attended a specialist course on direct consultation with children (DCC).

Exploring the suitability of DCC

There is an abundance of research (nationally and internationally) which supports the right of children to be heard. It shows respect for children, involves them carefully in decision making and ensures that they understand clearly what is happening to them.  Listening to a child can also help to clarify the parenting arrangements which the child feels comfortable with and this can be very different from the picture portrayed by one or another parent. It can even help to clarify whether a child wishes to spend more or less time with a parent.

However, it is not straightforward and it does require considerable preparation with different considerations depending on the age and maturity of the child and the attitude of both parents.

Usually, direct consultation does involve the child meeting face-to-face with the mediator but Zoom meetings have been commonplace over the last two years. Most children aged 10 years or over, are perfectly familiar with and comfortable with that medium.


It would be usual for the mediator to write to or email the child to explain, in simple language, that the parents are “sorting things out” and that one of the issues is how much time the child should spend with each parent so that the arrangements works best for everyone. A simple explanation regarding confidentiality is important; not that the mediator will ignore issues of safety, abuse and safeguarding but that the child should feel free to speak and that the mediator will decide with the child what will be said to the parents. Sometimes children prefer to deliver the message themselves, supported by the mediator. More frequently we find that children prefer the mediator to convey the agreed message, in language which is agreed with the child. Again much depends on the circumstances and personality of the child.

If DCC seems appropriate, the mediation consultation sessions usually last for around 45 minutes.

Whether children are seen alone or with their siblings depends on the circumstances and the age range. Teenagers often prefer their own space but it is very important that the views of younger children are understood and that one sibling is not held out as the spokesperson.

Child Inclusive Mediation Resources

For tips on talking to your children about separation and parenting through the process, we suggest you consult the website of the family law group Resolution.

The author of this post is Kim Beatson who was one of the first solicitors in the country to qualify as a mediator and is accredited to consult with children.  She was the first person to win the prestigious Family Law Dispute Resolution Practitioner of the Year (2011).  She is a Band 1 Mediator in Chambers & Partners where she is described as “an outstanding mediator who has a huge amount of emotional intelligence”.  For information about her mediation service please contact her at 020 7940 4011.

Get Free 20 minutes of initial advice

As an introduction to our service, we offer free 20 minutes of initial advice on all aspects of Family Law including:

  • Divorce
  • Finance
  • Pre-nuptial Agreements
  • Post-nuptial Agreements
  • Cohabitation Agreements
  • Property Ownership Agreements/Deeds of Trust
  • Child Arrangements/Parenting Agreements
  • Child Abduction
  • Surrogacy/Parental Orders

* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

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