”I was delighted to have completed my direct child consultation in mediation qualification and wondered why I had not done this training sooner. I have been working in the family law profession for 18 years. My motivation to train as both a collaborative family lawyer and a mediator very soon after my qualification arose when I became disillusioned with the legal process and felt that there must be a better way for my clients to separate or divorce. I have gone on to assist many clients within mediation and I have been accredited as a specialist mediator by the Law Society and Resolution since 2012.
Times have changed in family law. Unfortunately many of our local family courts have now closed, many more people are unable to afford legal representation and are acting for themselves in the court process, the courts are becoming clogged and this is causing significant delays which in children cases can be so significant in the life of the child and for the parents who are left in limbo. I am also noticing frustration from some parents about the way they feel the courts are dealing with their cases. Having completed the direct child consultation training, I find myself questioning why I have not used this more in my own mediation practice. I wonder how many clients and children might benefit and how little the general public still know about the huge benefits that mediation can bring. There is a way forward in the mediation process where children can be involved, only with both parents’ express consent and where a mediator feels it is appropriate, which will enable a child’s hopes, feelings, concerns and views to be expressed.
If you would like more information about direct child consultation either as a client, a solicitor, a family professional, or even a mediator who feels that this may be helpful to your own mediation clients, please contact me and I can discuss how best this could assist you and talk to you about the details such as practicality and cost. My professional CV is available for you to review and I am available to speak over the telephone. I hope as a local community we can involve children more where appropriate to really offer something of value to those who are facing such difficult decisions following a family separation.”
Clare Madeline Mediation