What can I expect at child custody mediation?

By Solent Family Mediation |
August 25, 2021
child custody mediation

Child Custody Mediation

Child custody Mediation entails that your child or children can express how they feel, what they think about the current situation, and how it can be improved. They will not be expected to make decisions or be pressured to choose between their parents.

With the child’s permission, the qualified child consultant will relay the youngster’s words and feelings to the parents.

Considerations for the Judge or Magistrate

Children will always be the first priority, and their well-being will be of paramount importance. They will want to know the desires and emotions of the youngster. The emotional, physical, and educational needs of the child, as well as the impact of any changes to the child’s environment, will be taken into account.

The child’s age, gender, traits, and upbringing will all play a factor in the final determination. The judge or magistrate will prioritise the child’s safety and the parent‘s ability to meet the child’s requirements.

A court or magistrate will issue an order only if it is in the best interest of the kid.

When choosing the ideal child custody arrangement, various factors are considered:

Child’s feelings a comments

If your child or children are old enough, often 12 or 13, the court will solicit their input and consider their feelings.

Cafcass personnel are trained to interact sensitively with children, and if it is appropriate to speak with them, they may not be asked specifically which parent they wish to live with, as doing so could embarrass them and hurt either parent.

Children under eleven will be permitted to speak, although their opinions may not carry as much weight in the court’s decision.

Requesting that very young children sketch and describe an image may be sufficient for recognising their emotions. The fundamental objective will always be to cause the child as little distress as possible, regardless of the outcome. If the Cafcass team determines that the child is distressed, they will recommend that the parents attempt to reach a resolution without the child’s participation.

At age 16, a child has the right to choose which parent they wish to live with.

Parent views:

The judge will determine which parent has been primarily responsible for the child’s upbringing, as removing the child from that parent may be painful for the youngster.

They will want to establish who can provide the child the most time. If possible, it is regarded preferable for a child to stay with a parent as opposed to a babysitter; hence, if one parent can spend more contact time, this may work in their favour.

The judge is unlikely to grant custody to a parent who poses a risk to the children, such as through substance abuse or aggressive behaviour.

The judge is unlikely to grant custody to a parent who poses a risk to the children, such as through substance abuse or aggressive behaviour.

Parental Responsibility

You can only petition for child custody if you have parental responsibility and custody of the child.

Married Parents:

Both parents automatically assume parental obligations upon marriage.

Unmarried Parents:

Upon the birth of the kid, the woman takes parental responsibilities regardless of her marital status. Unless he is included on the birth certificate, where he already has parental responsibility, the father must petition for parental responsibility with the mother’s consent.

Solent Family Mediation

If you cannot agree on child custody arrangements peacefully, child custody mediation should be undertaken in child custody situations whenever possible.

Typically, child custody mediation takes place in a family support centre with the assistance of an impartial mediator in order to keep the focus on the custody issue. It will be the mediator’s obligation to keep personal feelings out of the discussions, as they will always consider the child’s best interests.

The mediator will endeavour to foster an atmosphere of calm and comfort and may request to speak with your child. They will only do so if all parties agree and if they believe it will aid the case. In child custody disputes, the mediator will always advocate for the best interests of the kid.

They will evaluate both parents’ viewpoints and will not take a side. The mediator’s responsibility is to help the parties in reaching an agreement on all aspects of child care.

There are exceptions to the child custody mediation requirement, involving social services or if you have been the victim of domestic violence. Otherwise, the courts will require that you have attended an MIAM prior to scheduling a custody hearing.

Child custody Mediation is not free, although those with low incomes may be eligible for legal aid to cover the cost of the MIAM, the cost of child custody mediation sessions for the individual with a low income, and, if necessary, assistance with attorneys’ fees after mediation.

Solent Family Mediation can help you – Call us today: 0238 161 1051