Trite it may be, but true it certainly is, that parents want to do all they can for their children. Some will happily declare that they will go to the ends of the earth. Others may not be willing to go quite so far, but there are still a good few who will be moved to go to great lengths, and even some who will jump at making the move in question by upping sticks and heading to the right school catchment area. Many – perhaps most – may struggle, financially and otherwise, to find a way in which the best interests of their children can be served without increased costs of many sorts to themselves.
Parents who are thinking of splitting up are no different: they also want to do all they can for their children. They may – at first – not be able to agree what is best and, even if they do agree that, they may not agree how best to achieve it. The focus may then turn to fighting one another. But that brings bruises, at the very least. Fighting one another in court brings not only bruises, but also hefty bills, along with stress, anxiety and delay and, at the end of the day, with someone else then making the decisions which are vital. All of those costs are borne by the parents. But it is not only the parents who lose out: there will be less left for their children, who will also suffer from seeing all that their parents have fought through.
The lament quoted above spells all this out. In just nine words, it speaks volumes about that mismatch between the end, and the means.
In just two words, it speaks also of a way in which things can be better, not only for the children, but also for the parents. Family mediation offers separating parents a way of best serving the interests of their children without those heavy increased costs. If offers them also the opportunity – which no judge sitting in court can give – of deciding for themselves (as well as for their children) how best to achieve that. No-one can be forced to go to mediation, and no-one in mediation can be forced to reach any conclusion – reasonable or otherwise. But – with the benefit of assistance from highly-trained, patient and experienced Mediators – everyone who turns to family mediation can have the benefits which I have mentioned. They need only make the simple move to choose them. This is, if you like, the creed of the Family Mediation Council. Our Mediators are rightly proud to pronounce it.
I am delighted to give my whole-hearted support to the Family Mediators Association in their “Family Mediation Week”.
Chair, Family Mediation Council