Kent Family Mediation Case Studies
Family mediation can help people in a number of different situations; each individual case is assessed and dealt with by Kent Family Mediation Service Family Mediators in a confidential, impartial, empathetic, and professional way. Below are a few examples of mediation that Kent Family Mediation Service Family Mediators have dealt with. The names that are used in these family mediation cases are purely fictitious.
Jess and Jamie came to mediation to discuss the arrangements for their daughter, Laura, aged 3, and to reach a financial settlement in their divorce proceedings. They had been married for eight years and separated for five months. Jamie was living with his parents and Jess was in the former family home with Laura.
‘David’ had made a referral to family mediation as he had two daughters who both lived with their Mother ‘Sue’. David had only seen the children a couple of times since he and Sue had separated a year ago. He was very anxious to make contact with both girls and to start seeing them again on a regular basis.
Kent Family Mediation contacted Sue, who agreed that family mediation might be a good way forward.
Both David and Sue attended MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings) with a Kent Family Mediation Service Family Mediator, after which they both agreed to participate in family mediation.
During discussions between the Family Mediator and both Sue and David in family mediation, it became clear that although Sue understood that David would like to see the girls, she was worried that he would eventually let them down. She explained that in the past when David had promised the girls that he would collect them and take them out, he had called to let them down at the last minute. She went on to point out that both girls had been very upset and it had taken her a long time to console them.
David said that he understood why the girls would have been upset and that he was sorry that he had to let them down at the last minute. He explained that he had taken a new job, which had meant that he had been on call to work on the days that he had planned to see the children. He was sorry that he had disappointed them, but he pointed out that he had needed the money and did not want to mess his new employers about when he had only just started working for them.
It was agreed by both Sue and David during the family mediation session that they needed to rebuild trust between not only David and Sue, but also between David and the children. The Family Mediator suggested that David give Sue a list of his work diary for the next month, noting on them the times when he would be ‘on call’. After discussions, a number of dates were agreed between David and Sue to take place at times when David was not on call and when he would be able to see the girls. David agreed that he would not offer to go on call on the days that he would be seeing the children.
It was also agreed that David would ring the girls once a week on a Wednesday evening to see how they were.
A further family mediation session was booked for David and Sue to return to family mediation in order to discuss with the Family Mediator how things had gone, with a view to setting up a regular pattern of contact between David and the children.
The Citizens Advice Bureau referred Claire and Darren to family mediation after Claire had been to see them to talk through her financial worries. Claire and Darren were married, with no children and despite them having both undergone marriage guidance counselling in an attempt to save their marriage, they had made the decision to separate.
When Claire and Darren met with the Kent Family Mediator, they were both very apprehensive about how the finances were going to be dealt with and how this would affect each of them. Both Darren and Claire were in full time work, but on low incomes.
The Family Mediator assessed each mediation client as being eligible to claim Legal Aid, which meant that neither Darren or Claire, would have to worry about paying for the family mediation and if either of them were to instruct a Family Solicitor during the family mediation process, any advice that the Family Solicitor gave to them in relation to their property and finances, would be covered under their Legal Aid Certificate and would not have to be paid back, even if they reached a financial settlement during family mediation.
In the first family mediation session, the Kent Family Service Mediator established what Claire and Darren’s assets and liabilities (debts) were, before asking them to identify what they would each like in terms of an outcome. Darren said that he wanted an outcome that was fair to both of them. Claire said that she wanted the same thing and for things to remain as amicable as possible between them.
The Family Mediator explained to Claire and Darren that they would need at least two more family mediation sessions and gave them a list of things to bring in to the next family mediation session, including three valuations of the house, cars, bank statements, savings, shares or ISA’s, a mortgage redemption figure and documents to verify the outstanding balance on any debts.
The Family Mediator also asked Darren and Claire to complete an Income and Outgoings document; on a current and future focused basis, which would enable the Family Mediator to work out how much money they each currently had to live on, after the bills were paid and how much they thought they would be earning and paying on bills in the future. The Family Mediator also asked them to look at alternative affordable rented or purchased accommodation and what the monthly costs for this would be.
When the couple returned to family mediation, the Family Mediator spent time looking at both Claire and Darren’s assets and liabilities (debts), disposable incomes and discussing the various options which were open to both of them. The Family Mediator suggested that after the family mediation session, they reflected on the things that had been discussed and to give consideration as to what they each thought to be a fair and affordable division of the assets, based on how they thought they could and wanted to live in the future.
During the couple’s final family mediation session, a proposal was made that both Claire and Darren were happy with. The Family Mediator then put this agreement into a Draft Memorandum of Understanding. Claire, Darren and the Family Mediator signed this and a final version was prepared, which was forwarded onto one of their Family Solicitors. The Family Solicitor then made this into a Consent Order and this was endorsed by a Family Court Judge as being Legally Binding.
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