Giving your child a voice in the mediation process

As a family mediator, our role is to facilitate discussions between parents concerning arrangements for their children. Our focus is on helping parents make decisions about their family’s future following their separation. Whilst it is accepted that it is the parents’ responsibility to make decisions in respect of their children, it is becoming increasingly recognised that children should have a voice about the upcoming changes in their lives. This is known as Child Inclusive Mediation (CIM).

The focus on children

There are common fears that often both parents and children face upon separation. At this point there are a lot of unknowns as to the future and often a child gets caught in the crossfire. Mediation is an aid for parents to assist them at that difficult and confusing time and re-direct their focus on the children. This can be achieved by:

  • Reinforcing the parenting relationship which remains the basis for plans being made
  • Keeping the parents centred on the children’s needs and feelings
  • Helping put arrangements in place as soon as possible to enable the children to spend time with both parents without delay
  • Encouraging parents not to allow conflict between them to involve the children
Being Responsible Parents Remains a Joint Task Even Though You Live Apart!

Some of the most important points research shows that children appreciate are:

  • Being kept informed by both parents about what is happening
  • Being reassured that it is “not their fault” that mum/dad has left the home
  • Being treated as an individual – not being under the umbrella of “the children”
  • Being able to talk on the phone in private to both parents when they wish
  • Not having to make too many changes all at once
  • Not having to choose between their parents
  • Having someone to talk to outside of their immediate family
What is Child Inclusive Mediation (CIM)?

CIM is an opportunity for children to have their voice heard through the process of mediation. This opportunity helps them feel listened to, valued and respected. This is the opportunity to get their thoughts and feelings heard and assist their parents understand them and take their opinions into consideration before finalising arrangements.

“All children and young people aged 10 and above should be offered the opportunity to have their voices heard directly during the Mediation, if they wish.” (FMC Code of Practice, s. 5.7.2).

The Children

Direct child consultation gives the chance for the child to talk to an independent person without having to filter their response as they would to each parent because they don’t want to upset them.

The process is highly confidential and informal. No pressure is put on the child and whatever is discussed in direct child consultation can only be discussed with the parents with the child’s permission giving them the extra security that without their consent their parents will not be fed back anything they have discussed in the room. The child is not asked to make a decision. The sole purpose of CIM is to provide the child with a safe environment to air their worries, concerns, feelings and thoughts they might have on the proposals their parents are making.


Before the process of CIM is started, the express consent of both parents is needed. Once the permission is sought, a specialised accredited mediator will write to the child(ren) offering them the chance to meet and take part in the process. The process and purpose of CIM will be explained to the child allowing them the freedom to choose whether they wish to take part.

An example of a letter to a child inviting them to CIM:

Hello Cameron

My name is Laura. I am a family mediator and my job is to help families talk about important decisions when parents live in different homes. I am currently helping your mum and dad make decisions which they believe are best for you and your sister Shona.

Your mum and dad have asked me to write to you becuase they would like you to have the choice to speak to me as well, if that is something you would like to do. I am here to listen to how you feel about the time you spend with your mum and your dad and any ideas you have for the future. We would then agree together what of the things you have told me, you would like me to tell your mum and dad. Anything you don’t want me to share with your mum and dad I won’t, as long as I don’t feel you are being hurt.

If you would like to come and talk to me, please let your mum know and she will arrange a day and time for us to meet.

I am really looking forward to meeting you.


The keys messages for a child who may be considering child inclusive mediation are:

  • A meeting can be arranged for you
  • You can ask your mum and dad about it
  • Sometimes you just want to talk – it is your chance to talk in confidence about what you think
  • Sometimes you want your parents to know what you think – sometimes you don’t
  • You decide with the mediator what you want to say to your parents and what, if anything you want the mediator to say to them
  • Your parents will still make the decisions
We're here to help!
We are here to help provide the mediation services you need.
Click the button below to complete our mediation referral form:

What will it cost?

We offer a range of fixed fee packages on a pay as you go basis so that you can budget and costs are kept to a manageable level.

A Trusted Name In Mediation, whether in your personal or professional life

At Consilia Mediation we recognise that the process of the breakdown of a relationship, whether in your personal or work life, is stressful and can be a very traumatic time. Our accredited mediators are sensitive in approach and highly skilled at dealing with difficult and challenging situations.

What our clients say about Consilia Legal on

  • I recently had occasion to require the services of an employment lawyer and was recommended to this firm by a professional colleague. I have dealt with many lawyers around the world in the most complex business transactions and personally. I can honestly say I have never received the level of consideration and service from any other legal firm to match that of Consilia Legal. From the moment they picked up the phone to my initial call to the matter being finalised in record quick time; their service and attention to detail was never less than exemplary. Their legal advice was also spot on. It is extraordinary to see this level of service across every aspect of a business and it is a huge credit to Marie Walsh and her team (especially Emma Cartlidge) that they are all able to make their clients feel so welcome and so cared for. I would heartily recommend them to anyone.

    Stephen Wilson
  • What an excellent service and experience Sarah Mannings at Consillia delivers to both personal and professional clients.

    I have been able to send my own clients to Sarah with the peace of mind that they will receive a quality service that is also cost effective. Feedback from them has been that aside from the points mentioned, she is able to 'talk to me clients as person and takes a genuine interest in my circumstances to offer the best solution'.

    If you are needing a friendly, reasonable and professional service then Sarah is the person to speak to!

    Ashley Mccartney
  • me and my partner came to Consila legal to get my partner's divorce done. We where very lucky to get Sarah Manning to help us with this she has been amazing from start to almost finished now. She has always responded professionally and promptly we couldn't of asked for any better thank you from the both of us.

    Adam Burt
  • I would have no hesitation in recommending Consilia Legal. Being in the more than capable hands of Marie & Andy collectively, helped me through an employment issue, which was difficult at times. However the support I received was highly proffessional, with a very caring approach at all times & they guided me through the process. Thank you so much. Elaine

    Elaine Dale
  • Marie, Andy, Victoria and Emma were exceptional in their help, advice and support – all done with a non-nonsense super friendly approach. Really took the stress out of a difficult corporate employment process. I felt safe and confident in their capable hands, recommending them highly.

    Sophie Webb
  • Received a really good service from Marie and the team including Emma, who offered valuable support throughout. I contacted Consilia following a recommendation from a union representative. Was given great advise through her trusted associate who offered an accurate and professional assessment. Marie secured a really good outcome due to her knowledge, perseverance, conscientiousness and genuine desire to try and get the best outcome on my behalf. A lot of genuine empathy and respect expressed and a brilliant negotiator. Very well informed, experienced and brilliant communicator. True to her word re costs as discussion was upfront and honest. Very reasonable rate compared to other firms. Would recommend to others Thank you very much!

    Elaben Mistry Jackson
  • Andy Boyde was very helpful helping me sort out my employment issue.
    Highly recommended.

    Patrick Frankel
  • Consilia Legal have been a huge part of my toolkit this year... they have been so proactive with their updates - which are written in easy/quick to read updates - sent out at precisely the right time - when everyone needs it the most. Their energy and positivity throughout has been inspiring - we are truly grateful. Thank you all.

    Walkers Limited
  • Thanks so much to Marie and the team for such a top class service for helping me out of a difficult situation. Would recommend to anyone in how quick everything was, always felt like my best interests were taken care of. Marie is truly an outstanding lawyer and wish her all the best!

    A P
  • When my autistic son was suspended from work, we felt he had been treated unfairly in the workplace because of his disability and needed help and advice from a specialist employment lawyer. Consilia Legal were highly recommended to me.
    I dealt with both Marie and Vicky and I can honestly say they were both amazing. They were both very professional and caring.
    Initially, I was worried that I would find speaking to a solicitor confusing and complicated but they simplified things so I was able to gain a better understanding of employment law.
    Vicky then delt with my son’s case and I felt we built a very good relationship. She was so easy to talk to and I found her very approachable, which made me feel very comfortable.
    Because of my son’s disability, our aim was to seek a quick and satisfactory resolution rather than a lengthy, damaging conflict. Vicky was always there to advise me on the best course of action to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible and to help us achieve a positive outcome (which we did).
    Thank you Vicky for all your help.

    Julie Goodwin
  • Laura Clapton has been brilliant and very professional through the Mediation process. I highly recommend her.

    Jen Huggett
  • Sarah Manning has been fantastic with our family law matter. She is very good and professional with a very quick response time.
    Sarah has put my mind at ease on many occasions, given ongoing support and is attentive to special needs too.
    I recommend her services to everyone as she puts her heart into it for you.

    Michala Fawthrop
  • Sarah Manning was great - really efficient and supportive. I would recommend her to anyone.

    Leah Gore
  • I found Consilia on LinkedIn when having trouble with own ET. Victoria was my assigned solicitor and she was amazing. She guided me, lobbied on my behalf and gave me emotional support when I was feeling angry, upset or defeated. She gave me a metaphorical hand to hold and guided me through the bureaucracy.
    I would highly recommend Consilia Legal. Their staff are professionals with compassion and understanding. I can honestly say, I would not be heading to ET without them.

    Thank you so much!

    Zoe Rollinson
  • Superb professional, supportive & friendly service by Laura and her colleagues.

    Their responses to both emails and telephone calls were quick and precise.

    I could and not of asked for a better service during a very difficult period, and would not hesitate to use again.


    Steve Wallis
  • Highly recommend this team that punches well above its weight. Good leadership, communication & advice. All round pleasure to work with. Have known them for over 6 years and would use them every time.

    Mark Byrne
  • Consilia were fantastic helping me deal with a redundancy issue. They were helpful and professional. Really put my mind at ease knowing I had their help

    Robert Cubbon
  • Consilia have done a good job of mediating the discussions across family and financial matters. Quick responses, good communication and a helpful/flexible approach.

    Rob Hennessy
  • I emailed Sarah at Consilia and received a very quick response.
    Sarah agreed to call me the following day and called me at the agreed time so no waiting for the call!
    Sarah was fantastic, she offered great advice and left me feeling alot more positive and informed on my situation.
    I cannot recommend highly enough, professional and caring and highly informative.
    Thank you

    kate Fricker
  • I could not recommend Emma enough. As someone who is pretty clueless about legalities, Emma ensured everything was explained both concisely and with sufficient detail. Emma always made herself available when I had questions and was professional at all times. I would without a doubt use Consilia Legal again especially Emma - she is an asset to the company! Thanks again 🙂

    Rebecca Davison
  • Being in a situation where you require legal advice and action in an employment situation is never easy. However Victoria was absolutely fantastic. She didn't skip a beat, she made the law easy to understand around certain actions I could take, and she delivered all of the service in a truly personable yet professional manner. Being in a situation like that can feel so daunting, but having someone like Victoria by your side, you feel invincible.

    Thank you again for everything.

    Francesca Fielding
  • Laura and the team have been an incredible help in my divorce. Through a very difficult time they have always been on hand to offer exceptional advice and assistance. I have always felt reassured by their professionalism and care. Thank You.

    tim capper
  • Brilliant solicitors firm. This is my first time using a solicitors and Emma really made me feel at ease with her attentiveness and professionalism. She kept me informed at every step of the way. I don't hope to have any legal issues in the future but if I do, these guys are first people I will call. Thank you Emma and Consilia.

    Miss Maynard
  • Marie and Matthew have been so professional through knowledge and understanding. Would recommend to anyone needing their expertise.

    Blake Allan
  • Emma Cartlidge (Employment Solicitor) and the Team were absolutely fantastic to work with. Clear communication/informative. She got the job done to an exceptional standard and was very quick about it. Thank you so much, you were amazing! 🙂

    Harry Calvert

Fill out the form below and one of our team will help arrange your free consultation as soon as possible:

Do You Require?
Workplace Mediation Civil Mediation Family Mediation

Party 1 Details

Check this box if you have the details of this party's solicitor to hand:

Party 2 Details

Check this box if you have the details of this party's solicitor to hand:

Party 1's Solicitor Details

Party 2's Solicitor Details

Are There Any Children in the Family?

Child One Details

Child Two Details

Child Three Details

Child Four Details

Child Five Details

Child Six Details

What Issues Would You Require Mediation for?

ChildrenFinancesAll Issues