Children First

Co-Parenting Plans built into The Handover Book.

During a divorce or separation, it can be hard to know which way to turn. There are so many new changes and decisions to make.  How, as parents you choose to move forward and make these changes determines your child’s positive or negative experience of the breakup.

Although it may be very difficult and you may not want to sit down with your ex-partner, working with an impartial professional to build a Co-Parenting Plan can:

  • Show your children that you can work together as separated parents.
  • Show your children that they are your priority.
  • Provide your children with (an albeit new) safe and solid routine. (terms of flexibility will be built into this Co-Parenting Plan)
  • Give you each the opportunity to discuss your concerns, ideas, plans etc in a calm, safe environment.
  • Have everything agreed written out clearly for you all to refer to.

There is now no reason to have to revise your parenting plan because you can simply work with The Handover Book. This enables you to update all and any information as things change. The initial information you put into The Handover Book will be the agreements that you have reached in your Handover Book session.

Child Inclusive Mediation

Children appreciate having their views and opinions heard and they like to be kept informed, but not to feel responsible for overall decisions. It is important that parents understand the views, and needs of their children at this time of change. 

Including children in the process can be extremely helpful.  The mediator and parents will agree the ground-rules for the meeting, which will ensure that your children feel free to express their opinions and feelings. 

Consultations last approximately 45-60 minutes.

Children should generally be aged 7 years and over but younger children may be seen in exceptional circumstances.

How it works

Before a meeting can be planned, your written permission will be sought and then we ask that you tell your child about the opportunity and ask if they would like the idea. It is really important that children do not feel pressured to take part, or sense that they will be letting their parent(s) down if they refuse. Nor that taking part will please their parent(s).

If your children are under 10 years old they may  wish to bring a personal item of significance along to the meeting so that they can feel a link between home and the place they are being seen. This also provides an ‘ice breaker’, to help put the child at his/her ease as the meeting starts.

The family mediator explains what confidentiality is and reassures your child that this is their time and that they will decide what, if anything, is shared with their parents. The process of note taking and reading back is explained so that your child can feel safe and secure in the knowledge that they are in control of what, if anything, is to be shared.

Our conversations are intended to support children during this difficult time and we are measured and considerate in our responses. We never exploit the differences between parents and support the notion that both parents have equal rights and responsibilities and that they are the eventual decision makers.