Child Inclusive Mediation

Child Inclusive Mediation

All Family Mediation Council (FMC) registered mediators are trained to help parents make the transition from being a couple to being separated parents in the best way for their children and put their children at the centre of decision making. Mediators also provide information about what support children might need when parents separate and signpost parents to support they may need.

What is meant by ‘child inclusive mediation’?

Child inclusive mediation does not mean ascertaining the children’s views in a legal sense but it means that children can tell the professionals helping their parents what they want them to consider or know when decisions are being made that affect them. The mediator will feedback only what the child wants to convey to the parents.

This type of mediation gives the child a voice and an opportunity to tell their concerns and worries whilst their parents are in mediation, this means the child won’t feel pressured or as if they have to take sides. It is aligned with The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and The Children’s Act 1989.

Why choose child inclusive mediation?

Child inclusive mediation can be hugely important as:

  • Children who are aware of conflict do not always tell their parents what they think.
  • Children do not always have the opportunity to tell both parents what they think at the same time; it is common for a child to tell the parents what they think they want to hear and therefore tell them different things.
  • Children often focus on keeping the peace and do not always have the space to think about their own views or feelings.
  • A parent who is focused on a child’s well being although well meaning is not always in an impartial place to convey the child’s wishes and feelings as the child may wish to the other parent or the mediator.

As part of the mediation process where a mediator is helping the parents and the child is to be included in the mediation, the mediator will work with another mediator who is specially trained to work with the child and who will feedback into the joint sessions with the parents.

When would I not choose child inclusive mediation?

There are circumstances where child inclusive mediation would not be considered right, however, it is difficult to generalise as each situation should be assessed individually. Some instances could be:

  • Where the child is under the age of ten
  • Where there are clear signs of the child being abused
  • If child services are involved
  • If both parents can not agree on using child inclusive mediation
  • The child has either emotional or cognitive understanding that would make the situation hard for them to understand, therefore not in their best interests.


It is clear to see that child inclusive mediation can be a beneficial way for parents to hear their child’s views and for the child to also get their point across but without the fear of being pressurised.

It’s important to remember that decisions should be made by the parents but with the child’s wishes and feelings in mind. Research shows us that children do not want to have to make choices.

How can Nelsons help

If you want to know more, please contact Gayle Rowley, Partner, and Mediator in our Family Law team, on 0800 024 1986 or via our online enquiry form, or book in for a Mediation Information and Assessment meeting by completing the mediation referral form here. Alternatively, if you already have a solicitor you can ask them to refer you if you prefer, see here.

Alternatively, if you don’t have legal representation and feel that you would benefit from legal advice instead, please contact Gayle who will be happy to discuss your circumstances in more detail and give you more information about the services that our family law solicitors can provide along with details of our hourly rates and fixed fee services.

Please contact Gayle or another member of the team in Derby, Leicester, or Nottingham on 0800 024 1976 or via our online form.

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