When we ask children what they want

_MG_5336As parents we think we know what is best for our children and we do our best to do the best we can for them. In a couple we discuss and make decisions together.

When parents separate it can be difficult to work together.

Different ideas about what is best for their children can become more pronounced.

Sadly sometimes parents allow the disputes between them as adults to play out in how they conduct themselves around their children’s arrangements.

Other times there are genuine disagreements.

Children can also say to each parent what they think the parent wants them to say. This can make disputes worse because both parents believe that they are doing what their child wants.

Sometimes abusive parents can use the idea of seeing children to allow them to continue to be abusive or controlling toward the other parent or the children themselves.

With cuts to legal aid, parents are less able to access the courts than they used to be.

Ian Walker is trained by Resolution to meet with children as part of the mediation process.

He is police checked.

He is a parent of four and has been a member of the Law Society Children Panel for over 16 years which means he is able to represent children in complex court proceedings.

This means Ian is experienced at talking with children and finding out what their views are.

Sometimes in mediation it will be helpful for Ian to meet with the children and for their views, taken in a neutral way, to be fed back to their parents [if the child is content for this to happen].

Ian only does this if both parents think it would be a good idea.

There is a separate mediation agreement which the parents must sign before any meeting can take place.

This process can greatly assist parents to make the right decisions for their children.

This doesn’t mean the parents necessarily doing everything the child wants, but rather making informed decisions based on a child’s views and feelings.

The process helps parents.