Direct Consultation with Children (DCC) – Family Mediation

Can children be part of the Family Mediation meetings?

The welfare of the children during a separation or divorce is paramount.

Family Mediation can help to improve trust and to alleviate friction between the separating couple. Communication may have become strained and Family Mediation looks at ways to improve this.

This is vital when the children are young, as the parents need to find a way to continue to co-parent. There will be occasions when you may need to attend school events together, graduations and weddings.

If the parents can talk effectively to each other this can help to reduce the impact of the separation on the children. The children should be able to spend quality time with both parents.

Children can be part of the Family Mediation process to voice their wishes and feelings. The meeting with the children would take place in a private and safe setting. To mediate with the children, the Family Mediator needs to have completed specialist direct consultation with children training and have been approved with a DBS check. Austin has completed 12 hours training. Both parents also need to consent to the session taking place.

The Family Mediator would aim to meet the children on their own and provide feedback which the child has shared on the same day so that the child is not put in a difficult position.

Recent cases involving children in the mediation process include:

  • A father who had relocated abroad and wanted to speak to three teenage children to re-establish contact.
  • Two teenage children who were attending secondary school and had very demanding school schedules. They lived with their mother but wanted to be part of the mediation process to explain which times were convenient to see the father in the run up to their GCSE exams.