Please type more than three letters in your search query

Family Law Mediator – Tips for Separated Parents

mediation and coparenting

For some separated parents, organising the days/time the children will spend with each parent can be tricky. This is completely normal and adjusting to communication following separation can take time – you are no longer a couple but you are both still parents to your child/children.

Disagreements surrounding child arrangements can escalate into a source of stress for parents. This is because the lack of clarity as to who the children will be with and when can make it almost impossible to organise work schedules, book things, make plans and respond to invitations. Lack of clarity as to the arrangements also mean it is not possible to communicate to the child/ren what they are doing and when, which can cause uncertainty and worry for them too.

Please see below for some of my top tips for separating parents communicating about children matters:

  1. It goes without saying that first and foremost is a child’s safety, welfare, and wellbeing – if you have any concerns or worries about this, it is important that you seek urgent help from a family law solicitor.
  1. Focus on your child’s needs – focus on what is important to your child and what they need. It can be challenging but it is important to put aside feelings about each other and focus on what you each think is best for your child. If you have more than one child, consider their needs individually – for example, what a younger child needs will differ to the needs of an older or teen child. Think about your child’s health and welfare needs, educational needs, their hobbies/activities, what boundaries they need and what makes them happy. Focusing on needs first provides a starting point for then exploring the range of options and solutions available to meet those needs.
  1. Keep communication separate from other matters – if you are communicating about child arrangements – keep the communication focused on this only. Do not stray into discussing other matters, such as private school fees and finances. This is with a view to avoiding other matters having a negative impact on the communication about the child/ren.
  1. Plan ahead – if you are communicating about important events/holidays (such as birthdays, special occasions, religious holidays, school holidays etc), organise the discussions well in advance of the dates. Trying to communicate and organise at short notice adds a layer of stress and urgency, which is unlikely to help. Taking away that pressure means that if it is not possible to reach decisions the first time you discuss matters, you can both consider matters further, obtain any further information you need and come back to it again another day.
  1. Think about how you will communicate – emails, messages and texts can often be misinterpreted and with busy lives, there may be delays in responding to each other. If you feel comfortable and if it is safe to do so, having a conversation (whether that is over the phone/video or in person) may assist. Mediation can also be a really helpful process to communicate. This is where a professional mediator, who is neutral and there to assist and help both people, facilitates discussions between you, whether that is in person or by video. If appropriate, a mediator can also facilitate discussions where you are each in separate spaces and do not have to see each other (whether that is separate rooms or if by video, on separate video calls).
  1. Set an agenda – provide information in advance about what it is that you would like to communicate about. This can help focus matters and help each person prepare. It also means there is unlikely to be anything unexpected or surprising raised for either person. Approaching matters in this way also allows issues to be broken down, which may make them feel more manageable. Coming back to the agenda/list can also be helpful if communication starts to stray into other areas.
  1. Ask for help – family law professionals (such as family law mediators and family law solicitors) are experts in helping separated couples resolve child arrangements. Many people seek the help of family law professionals and greatly benefit from this.

Mediation can be a great tool for separated parents wanting to discuss and decide solutions about any aspect of children matters.  You can read more about Mediation here and the benefits of Mediation here.

Honor Giles is the Mediator at Maguire Family Law. In addition to her role as Mediator, Honor also works as a Solicitor and is a Partner in the team. Honor’s significant experience in family law, in both children and financial matters, is invaluable when helping separating couples in Mediation. If you wish to find out more about mediation and how it could help you, please do not hesitate to contact Honor Giles on 01565 743 302 or

For specialist advice on any family law related issue contact Maguire Family Law by email: or telephone:

Contact Us