In this new series of blogs we’re looking at the question we get asked a lot which is, do I have to go to mediation. The first blog looked at what the rules say and the context behind why the rules were made. The next blog looks at how you might resolve all the issues that crop up when you separate. Why is this important? Well because when a couple separate there are usually issues that need to be resolved which often look something like this:
- When will children be with mum and when will they be with dad? When might they be with other significant people e.g grandparents?
- How will you manage parenting together (sometimes called co-parenting) now you’re not in a relationship – for example if your child has an issue at school, or a medical issue, how would you work together to support them with this?
- Will your arrangements be different during the school holidays?
- Where will you each live?
- Can you afford to pay your bills?
- What will you do with your joint assets?
If you apply to the court then a Judge may end up making a decision about what happens next for both of you, and your children. This means you won’t have control over the outcome. Many people prefer to retain control over what happens next for them and the way to do this is to make decisions about what happens next yourselves. If you would find talking to each other about potential resolutions challenging (and many people do – especially initially when lots of emotions feel pretty raw) then it can help to get some support with your discussions to help keep them structured on and on track. This can be mediation but it doesn’t have to be.
In next week’s blog we will set out all the processes that exist so you can look at the different ways that you might use to find a resolution to all the issues that you both feel need to crop up. In this blog we would invite you to think about the following questions:
- Do we want to decide what happens next for us so we can shape a resolution that will work best for us?
- Can we talk to each other directly? If we find this challenging – what are the trigger points that start arguments? Do we know what buttons are being pressed in each other. This blog may help.
- What professional support might assist? Are your issues:
- practical with not knowing what to do or what your next steps are?
- Emotional which means discussions become upsetting or end in arguments?
- Deeper issues with one person doing all the talking and the other person not contributing?
If you can identify the threads that come out of these questions then you will be well placed to look at what support might assist when we outline more in next week’s blog.
In the meantime if you’d like help and support managing your separation as constructively as possible then you can sign up to our free mailing list to get support into your inbox every fortnight. You can also join the online community, Soulful Separation Support, to talk to others going through separation and other professionals. It’s a safe and closed space so only members can see what’s posted.