Our Family Mediation Solutions

CountryWide Mediation was among the very first household mediation services
to be set up in the country and it is now among the primary providers of family mediation in the St Albans.

We have an unrivalled depth of knowledge, ability and experience in resolving and solving problems conflict and disagreements within families.

All members of our family mediation team are professionally accredited (FMCA) through the Family Mediation Council.

We have our own devoted mediation facilities in a peaceful yet central place, with 3 mediation spaces, different waiting areas, a reception location with extra seating and a back office.

We have the ability to offer first conference/ MIAMs consultations (for individuals) within 24hours and consultations for mediation meetings (for both celebrations), within 5 working days.

We offer both legally assisted and independently moneyed mediation covering all St Albans.

Mediation St Albans

Co-Parenting and Joint Custody Tips for Divorced Parents

Co-parenting after a separation or divorce is hardly ever easy. These shared custody tips can help give your children the stability, security, and close relationships with both moms and dads that they need.

co parenting

What is co-parenting?

Unless your family has faced serious problems such as domestic violence or drug abuse, co-parenting– having both parents play an active role in their kids’s daily lives– is the best way to guarantee that all your kids’ needs are satisfied and allow them to maintain close relationships with both parents. The quality of the relationship in between co-parents can also have a strong impact on the mental and emotional well-being of kids, and the occurrence of stress and anxiety and depression. Naturally, putting aside relationship issues, especially after an acrimonious split, to co-parent agreeably is sometimes simpler said than done.

Joint custody arrangements can be stressful, shocking, and stuffed with stress, specifically if you have a controversial relationship with your ex-partner. You might feel concerned about your ex’s parenting abilities, stressed about child assistance or other monetary problems, feel worn down by dispute, or believe you’ll never ever be able to get rid of all the animosities in your relationship.

Making shared decisions, communicating with each other at drop-offs, or simply speaking to a person you ‘d rather forget everything about can seem like impossible jobs. For the sake of your kids’ well-being, however, it is possible for you to conquer co-parenting obstacles and develop a cordial working relationship with your ex. With these pointers, you can stay calm, remain constant, and deal with disputes to make joint custody work and enable your kids to flourish.

Making co-parenting work

The key to successful co-parenting is to separate the personal relationship with your ex from the co-parenting relationship. It may be handy to start thinking about your relationship with your ex as a totally brand-new one– one that is entirely about the well-being of your children, and not about either of you.

[Read: Children and Divorce]
Your marital relationship might be over, however your family is not; acting in your kids’ benefit is your essential priority. The primary step to being a mature, responsible co-parent is to constantly put your children’s requirements ahead of your own.

Advantages for your children

Through your co-parenting collaboration, your kids should recognize that they are more vital than the conflict that ended your marriage– and comprehend that your love for them will dominate regardless of altering scenarios. Kids whose separated moms and dads have a cooperative relationship:

  • Feel protected. When positive of the love of both parents, kids adjust faster and quickly to divorce and brand-new living situations, and have much better self-confidence.
  • Benefit from consistency. Co-parenting fosters comparable rules, discipline, and rewards in between households, so children understand what to expect, and what’s expected of them.
  • Much better comprehend problem fixing. Kids who see their moms and dads continuing to collaborate are most likely to discover how to efficiently and peacefully solve issues themselves.
  • Have a healthy example to follow. By cooperating with the other parent, you are establishing a life pattern your children can bring into the future to develop and maintain more powerful relationships.
  • Are mentally and mentally healthier. Children exposed to conflict between co-parents are most likely to develop problems such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD.

Co-parenting idea 1: Set hurt and anger aside

Successful co-parenting means that your own emotions– any resentment, anger, or hurt– should take a rear seats to the needs of your children. Undoubtedly, setting aside such strong sensations may be the hardest part of discovering to work cooperatively with your ex, however it’s likewise possibly the most important.

Co-parenting is not about your sensations, or those of your ex-spouse, however rather about your child’s joy, stability, and future wellness.

Separating sensations from behavior


It’s okay to be injured and mad, however your feelings don’t have to determine your behavior. Instead, let what’s finest for your kids– you working cooperatively with the other parent– encourage your actions.

Get your feelings out somewhere else. Never ever vent to your kid. Pals, therapists, or perhaps a loving pet can all make great listeners when you require to get unfavorable sensations off your chest. Exercise can likewise provide a healthy outlet for letting off steam.

Stay kid-focused. If you feel resentful or mad, try to remember why you need to act with purpose and grace: your child’s best interests are at stake. Looking at a picture of your child might assist you calm down if your anger feels frustrating.

Don’t put your children in the middle

You might never ever totally lose all of your animosity or bitterness about your separate, however what you can do is compartmentalize those feelings and remind yourself that they are your issues, not your child’s. Fix to keep your concerns with your ex away from your kids.

Never use kids as messengers. When you utilize your kids to convey messages to your co-parent, it puts them in the center of your dispute. The objective is to keep your kid out of your relationship issues, so call or email your ex directly.

Keep your concerns to yourself. Never ever say negative things about your ex to your kids, or make them seem like they need to select. Your child has a right to a relationship with their other moms and dad that is devoid of your influence.

Idea 2: Improve interaction with your co-parent

Tranquil, consistent, and purposeful communication with your ex is necessary to the success of co-parenting– even though it might seem definitely difficult. Everything starts with your frame of mind. Think about interaction with your ex as having the highest purpose: your kid’s well-being. Prior to having contact with your ex, ask yourself how your actions will impact your kid, and resolve to perform yourself with self-respect. Make your kid the focal point of every conversation you have with your ex-partner.

Remember that it isn’t constantly essential to meet your ex face to face– speaking over the phone or exchanging e-mails or texts is great for the majority of discussions. The objective is to develop conflict-free communication, so see which kind of contact works best for you.

Co-parenting communication methods


You select to have contact, the following approaches can assist you initiate and preserve efficient communication:

Approach the relationship with your ex as a business partnership where your “organization” is your kids’s well-being. Compose or speak to your ex as you would a coworker– with cordiality, neutrality, and regard.

Make requests. Rather of making statements, which can be misinterpreted as demands, try framing as much as you can as a demand.

Listen. Communicating with maturity begins with listening. Even if you end up disagreeing with the other parent, you must at least have the ability to communicate to your ex that you’ve comprehended their perspective. And listening does not symbolize approval, so you will not lose anything by enabling your ex to voice his/her viewpoints.

Program restraint. Remember that communicating with one another is going to be required for the length of your children’s entire youth– if not longer. You can train yourself to not overreact to your ex, and over time you can end up being numb to the buttons they attempt to push.

Commit to meeting/talking consistently. Though it might be incredibly difficult in the early stages, frequent interaction with your ex will communicate the message to your children that you and your co-parent are a united front.

Keep conversations kid-focused. Never ever let a conversation with your ex-partner digress into a conversation about your requirements or their needs; it needs to constantly have to do with your child’s requirements only.

Rapidly ease stress in the moment. When dealing with a difficult ex-spouse who’s injured you in the past or has a genuine flair for pressing your buttons, it might seem impossible to stay calm. By practicing quick tension relief strategies, you can discover to stay in control when the pressure constructs.

Improving the relationship with your ex.


Be genuine about your efforts if you’re genuinely ready to reconstruct trust after a break up. Remember your kids’s best interests as you move forward to enhance your relationship.

  • Ask your ex’s viewpoint. This basic technique can jump-start favorable communications in between you. Take a problem that you don’t feel strongly about, and request for your ex’s input, showing that you value their viewpoint.
  • Apologize. Say sorry truly– even if the event took place a long time back when you’re sorry about something. Saying sorry can be an extremely powerful step in moving your relationship past that of adversaries.
  • If an unique getaway with your ex is going to cut into your time with your child by an hour, happily let it be. Remember that it’s all about what is best for your kid.

Idea 3: Co-parent as a group.

Parenting is full of decisions you’ll have to make with your ex, whether you like each other or not. Complying and interacting without blow-ups or bickering makes decision-making far much easier on everybody. If you aim for consistency, geniality, and teamwork with your co-parent, the information of child-rearing choices tend to fall into place.

Aim for co-parenting consistency.


It’s healthy for children to be exposed to various perspectives and learn to be versatile, but they also need to understand they’re living under the very same standard set of expectations at each home. Going for consistency between your home and your ex’s avoids confusion for your kids.

Rules. Guidelines don’t need to be exactly the exact same between two households, but if you and your ex-spouse develop normally consistent guidelines, your kids will not have to bounce back and forth in between two drastically different disciplinary environments. Crucial lifestyle rules like homework problems, curfews, and off-limit activities should be followed in both families.

Discipline. Attempt to follow similar systems of consequences for broken guidelines, even if the infraction didn’t take place under your roofing. If your kids have lost TV advantages while at your ex’s house, follow through with the restriction. The exact same can be provided for fulfilling good behavior.

Schedule. Where you can, go for some consistency in your children’s schedules. Making meals, research, and bedtimes comparable can go a long way towards your child’s modification to having two homes.

Making crucial choices as co-parents.


Significant choices need to be made by both you and your ex. Being open, honest, and simple about crucial concerns is crucial to both your relationship with your ex and your children’s well-being.

Medical requires. Whether you decide to designate one parent to interact mainly with healthcare experts or go to medical consultations together, keep one another in the loop.

Education. Make sure to let the school understand about changes in your child’s living scenario. Speak with your ex ahead of time about class schedules, extra-curricular activities, and parent-teacher conferences, and be courteous to each other at school or sports occasions.

Monetary issues. The expense of keeping 2 separate homes can strain your attempts to be effective co-parents. Set a reasonable spending plan and keep precise records for shared expenditures. Be gracious if your ex supplies chances for your children that you can not supply.

Handling co-parenting disagreements.


As you co-parent, you and your ex are bound to disagree over certain problems. Keep the following in mind as you try to reach a consensus.

Regard can go a long way. Basic good manners need to be the structure for co-parenting. Being considerate and considerate consists of letting your ex learn about school occasions, being flexible about your schedule when possible, and taking their viewpoint seriously.

If you disagree about something important, you will need to continue communicating. Never discuss your distinctions of opinions with or in front of your child.

Don’t sweat the little stuff. If you disagree about important concerns like a medical surgical treatment or option of school for your kid, by all means, keep the conversation going. If you want your child in bed by 7:30 and your ex says 8:00, let it go and save your energy for the larger concerns.

Compromise. Yes, you will need to come around to your ex-spouse’s perspective as typically as they happen to yours. It may not always be your first choice, however compromise allows you both to “win” and makes both of you most likely to be versatile in the future.

Suggestion 4: Make shifts and visitation easier.

The actual move from one household to another, whether it happens every few days or just specific weekends, can be an extremely hard time for kids. Every reunion with one moms and dad is also a separation with the other, each “hey there” likewise a “farewell.” While transitions are unavoidable, there are many things you can do to assist make them easier on your kids.

When your kid leaves.


As kids prepare to leave your home for your ex’s, attempt to stay positive and deliver them on time.

Help children anticipate modification. Remind kids they’ll be leaving for the other parent’s house a day or more prior to the check out.

Pack in advance. Depending upon their age, aid children load their bags well prior to they leave so that they don’t forget anything they’ll miss. Motivate packing familiar reminders like an unique stuffed toy or photograph.

Always drop off– never get the child. It’s an excellent concept to avoid “taking” your child from the other moms and dad so that you don’t run the risk of disrupting or reducing a special minute. Drop off your child at the other parent’s home rather.

When your kid returns.


The start of your kid’s return to your home can be awkward and even rocky. To help your kid adjust:.

Keep things low-key. When kids initially enter your home, try to have some down time together– check out a book or do some other peaceful activity.

Double up. To make packaging easier and make kids feel more comfortable when they are at the other moms and dad’s house, have kids keep particular fundamentals– tooth brush, hairbrush, pajamas– at both homes.

Allow your child area. Kids often need a little time to change to the transition.

Establish a special regimen. Play a video game or serve the same special meal each time your child returns. Kids grow on regular– if they know exactly what to anticipate when they go back to you it can assist the transition.

Dealing with visitation refusal.

It prevails that kids in joint custody sometimes refuse to leave one moms and dad to stick with the other.

  • The issue may be easy to solve, like paying more attention to your child, making a change in discipline design, or having more toys or other entertainment. Talk to your kid about their refusal.
  • Go with the circulation. Whether you have actually discovered the reason for the refusal or not, try to provide your kid the space and time that they certainly need.
  • Talk with your ex. A heart-to-heart with your ex about the rejection might be tough and psychological, however can help you figure out what the problem is. Try to remain delicate and comprehending to your ex as you discuss this touchy subject.

Authors: Jocelyn Block, M.A. and Melinda Smith, M.A.

The objective is to keep your child out of your relationship problems, so call or email your ex directly.

Never state unfavorable things about your ex to your kids, or make them feel like they have to select. Approach the relationship with your ex as a company collaboration where your “service” is your kids’s wellness. If an unique getaway with your ex is going to cut into your time with your child by an hour, enthusiastically let it be. If you desire your kid in bed by 7:30 and your ex says 8:00, let it go and save your energy for the larger issues.

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About Mediation in WikiPedia

Mediation is a structured, interactive process where an impartial third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques. All participants in mediation are encouraged to actively participate in the process. Mediation is a “party-centered” process in that it is focused primarily upon the needs, rights, and interests of the parties. The mediator uses a wide variety of techniques to guide the process in a constructive direction and to help the parties find their optimal solution. A mediator is facilitative in that she/he manages the interaction between parties and facilitates open communication. Mediation is also evaluative in that the mediator analyzes issues and relevant norms (“reality-testing”), while refraining from providing prescriptive advice to the parties (e.g., “You should do…”).

Mediation, as used in law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution resolving disputes between two or more parties with concrete effects. Typically, a third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. Disputants may mediate disputes in a variety of domains, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic, workplace, community, and family matters.

The term mediation broadly refers to any instance in which a third party helps others reach an agreement. More specifically, mediation has a structure, timetable, and dynamics that “ordinary” negotiation lacks. The process is private and confidential, possibly enforced by law. Participation is typically voluntary. The mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates rather than directs the process. Mediation is becoming a more peaceful and internationally accepted solution to end the conflict. Mediation can be used to resolve disputes of any magnitude.

The term mediation, however, due to language as well as national legal standards and regulations is not identical in content in all countries but rather has specific connotations, and there are some differences between Anglo-Saxon definitions and other countries, especially countries with a civil, statutory law tradition.

Mediators use various techniques to open, or improve, dialogue and empathy between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement. Much depends on the mediator’s skill and training. As the practice gained popularity, training programs, certifications, and licensing followed, which produced trained and professional mediators committed to the discipline.

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