You can talk about any arrangements you wish to make for your children, as well as any concerns you may have about them and how well they are coping with your situation.
Parents frequently discuss:
• Where their children are going to live
• How much time they are going to spend with each parent
• Their child’s schooling
• Holiday arrangements
• Improving communication between each other
• What to tell the children about the separation and how to reassure them
• The financial arrangements for the children
• The introduction and involvement of new partners
Yes, we are happy to mediate between any family members who have an interest in the child’s welfare and are entitled to be involved in decisions regarding his or her upbringing or care.
Through all our work with you we keep your children’s needs in the forefront of our discussions. We will encourage you to think about your children, their needs and wishes rather than your own.
Where it is in the child’s interest, we will see older children and talk about their views and wishes with them but only with your complete agreement. This is usually done when parents have differing opinions about what their children want. We are very careful to maintain the child’s confidentiality and will only tell you what they ask us to. The purpose of meeting with your children is not to pass the decision to them but to give you information about their views which will help you make better decisions for them.
Many problems arise because parents find it difficult or impossible to talk to each other. Mediation provides a safe place where parents can talk about their children. We will manage your discussion to enable you both to think about your children and discuss their needs in a positive and constructive manner. We will also be able to help you to improve your communication and avoid the things which so often lead to arguments and bitterness.
Most children want and need their parents to have a good working relationship and to be able to make arrangements for them without arguing. Children feel supported when both their parents are able to co-operate and work together. We help parents to develop effective working relationships which support and encourage the children, by offering a safe place in which to improve communication, avoid conflict and understand each other better.
Research has shown that most couples reach agreement in mediation in just a third of the time it would take if they negotiated the same agreement through solicitors. The majority of family mediations are concluded in two to five sessions, each lasting approximately 90 mins. We will be happy to discuss the probable length of your mediation at the start of the process.
Mediation can help you decide what to do about:
• The timing of your divorce, separation or dissolution of a civil partnership
• Money, property and pensions
• Your debts
• Your children
• Maintenance payments
• The way that you communicate with your former partner
• And many other questions which arise on the ending of your relationship
Many couples come to us before they have separated and when they are still unsure about their future. We are happy to help them discuss the future of their relationship, although we do not offer relationship counselling. We frequently work with couples to help them decide when and how best to separate and what to tell their children about their plans.
We are pleased to work with couples who have been in any form of family relationship. We can help them to decide what arrangements to make for their children, resolve disputes about their property and agree when and how to separate.
Mediation is not always easy. We are used to working with clients who feel upset, angry and tense. We provide a safe and calm environment and can offer you separate space when needed. We will manage your discussions to enable each of you to put your point of view and discuss your situation in a positive and constructive manner. We will also be able to help you improve your communication and avoid the things which so often lead to arguments, bitterness and resentment.
We will give you information about the law and how it is applied to questions about money and property on the breakdown of a relationship or divorce. We may encourage you to obtain independent legal advice at appropriate stages in the mediation process. To help you do this, we will prepare written Summaries of your financial position and of the discussions we have had in mediation which will enable your solicitor to give you clear and concise advice if it is required at any time whilst keeping your legal fees to a minimum.
We are used to working with complex financial arrangements which may include private companies, investment portfolios, offshore assets, inheritance issues, trusts or complex pensions. In such cases, we may work closely with your solicitors and can involve financial advisors, pension experts and accountants in the mediation process.
It is a condition of agreeing to mediation that you both undertake to make full and frank disclosure of your financial positions. In mediation we ask you to complete detailed statements about your financial positions and where necessary produce documents to substantiate what you say. We give you the opportunity of questioning each other and of asking for relevant documents to be produced. We will discuss with you the most sensible way of valuing complex assets such as private businesses or pensions and encourage you to seek legal or specialist advice where appropriate.
Any agreement you reach in mediation will only become legally binding after you have taken legal advice and signed the appropriate legal documents, which should be drafted by solicitors. However, if it subsequently transpires that someone has lied about their financial position, the agreement may be set aside.
Penfold-Yates Family Mediation is the trading name of PY Mediation LLP which is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales under number OC421279, registered address Lynton House, 7-12 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9BQ. For the avoidance of doubt, PY Mediation LLP trading as Penfold-Yates Family Mediation are not solicitors and do not at any time whatsoever, either expressly, impliedly or in any other circumstances at all, act as and/or provide opinion and/or advice as solicitors, but instead provide services only as Family Mediators and Consultants.