Valentine’s Day is supposed to be the most ‘romantic day of the year’, conjuring up mental images of romance; candlelit dinners, wedding proposals, red hearts, chocolates, and flowers.
Those of us who are commercially aware will have noticed that shortly after the festive season was over, the retail industry had already started promoting the sales of cards and gifts in anticipation of St Valentine’s Day on 14 February. In addition to the retail hype, on the day itself, a frenzy of ‘Valentine’s Day mania’ will spread across a wealth of media sources from; TV adverts, magazines, newspapers, and online news features. There will also undoubtedly be many millions of Valentine s Day posts flooding onto social media platforms depicting cheesy cartoons, slushy poems, amid photos and video streaming of loved up couples declaring their undying love for each other.
Debbie Hillman of Kent Family Mediation Service points out, “With so much hype surrounding Valentine’s Day these days, that wherever we go or whatever we do, there really is no getting away from it. Valentine’s Day can be an extremely upsetting time for many people; especially if they have found themselves single through no choice of their own and ‘Valentines Day’ can leave them feeling very resentful.” Debbie goes on to explain, “We often see mediation clients who feel desperately unhappy and alone at this time of year and they cannot move on after the relationship split because they are still locked in arguments with their ex over children, finances or the family home. Unresolved arguments can leave them feeling angry and this can be exasperated especially if they parted with their ex on bad terms. Family mediation can bring a great sense of relief to these people, who may (for many months, or maybe even years), have been entrenched in arguments or bad feeling, with their ex partner, husband or wife and other extended family members. Family Mediation enables people who that have been affected by a divorce, relationship split, or family separation, to discuss, negotiate, and reach agreements with their ex or another person. With the help of a trained family mediator, they can meet up, in a safe and neutral place, outside of court to reach a mutual agreement, which can be made legally binding. Family mediation can help them to both to draw a line under everything and empower them to move forward with their lives, whilst also putting the needs of any children first.
Family mediation is less acrimonious and it is much more cost effective that going down the legal route. Contrary to popular belief, Legal Aid is still available for family mediation and anyone who is assessed as being eligible to claim it will receive free mediation, with the other person in the case also benefiting from a free mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM) and a free first mediation meeting once eligibility is confirmed.”
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