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Mediation for separated parents Case Study

Case Study – Mediation for Separated Parents of a Two Year Old Child

The following case study highlights how easily communications can break down between separated couples. Simple changes of circumstances for example, mean arrangements for the child have to change and if the parents are unable to talk about it to come to a mutual agreement, the relationship and trust break down further.


Background to the case

Georgia and Warren were young parents of 2 year old Sol. They had been in a relationship but separated when Sol was 15 months old. They had devised arrangements for Warren to see Sol whenever he wasn’t working, on an ad hock basis. This worked well for everybody for a period of time.

However when Georgia started studying 2 days per week she decided to put Sol in child care and said that Warren couldn’t see Sol on those days. There was a total breakdown in communication, and Georgia stopped all contact between Warren and Sol. Georgia accused Warren of expecting her to fit around his work patterns. Warren accused Georgia of inflexibility, and was angry that Sol was in child-care when he could have been with him. Warren felt like he needed to make an application to court, but they were advised to try mediation first.

First Mediation Session

At the first mediation session they were both very angry with each other and accused each other of being selfish around their working hours. We looked in detail at each of their weekly schedules to see where were the windows of possibility for Warren to spend time with Sol when he wasn’t working. These details had got lost in the flurry of angry texts between them. This is a common occurrence in these situations as each person loses sight of how the other party might be feeling or viewing the situation.

We came up with a provisional schedule of contact, which was due to start straight after the mediation session. Warren was delighted because he hadn’t see Sol for a number of weeks.

However, directly after the session Georgia called up to say she wasn’t happy with the pattern that had been agreed on, and wanted to delay the start of contact for a few days. She did eventually agree to work with the provisional schedule until the next session and then come back with some changes.

Second Mediation Session

At the second session Warren was pleased because he had seen Sol regularly and felt that the contact had gone well. Georgia had some tweaks to the schedule which Warren was happy to hear about. Georgia had shifted Sol’s nursery days to mean that he was available to see Warren on his days off.  They came up with a schedule which allowed Warren to see Sol twice a week, plus to have a weekly overnight at the weekend, which was important to Warren so that Sol could spend time with his older daughter.

They then also tailored some other arrangements, agreeing on swaps to allow Sol to be with Warren on Warren’s birthday and to allow Sol to attend a family celebration with Warren’s family.
We talked about how they might communicate in future about changes to Sol’s schedule. They agreed to try a weekly parenting phone call, and to come back to mediation if they couldn’t reach agreement between themselves.

Can Mediation help you?

If you are a separated parent and struggle to resolve issues around contact for your children, call Frances on 0117 924 3880 for further help or information.

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