What happens when your ex won’t come to mediation?

A common theme that arises when talking about the process of mediation is what if one person won’t go, or if that person doesn’t stick to what has been agreed?

The hope in mediation is that people are given the chance to explain their concerns and needs to each other in the presence of a professional mediator.  Whilst mediators cannot insist upon both people attending they do however have the opportunity of meeting with each person separately at the outset for a private meeting where the situation and any concerns can be discussed.  It is common that clients can have a change of heart about the option of a joint session of mediation once they have met with a mediator in a neutral safe space and voiced their concerns as well as hearing about the benefits of the process.

It is important to remember that mediators are neither judges nor legal advisors; instead they are neutral, independent, specialist professionals who help clients to have a difficult conversation and find their own way forward.  An important part of mediation is the involvement of other support around a couple where needed.  In mediation a safe and informed process is offered, giving clients the opportunity to be heard and understood, and to reach their own agreement(s).  It is a future-focused process, offering a fresh opportunity to draw a line in the sand and find a new way forward.

In relation to issues regarding children, clients are supported in agreeing a set of arrangements which can be set out in a parenting agreement, offering clarity and structure with regards the future and what has been agreed.  At Wells Family Mediation we also actively encourage Child Inclusive Mediation, which gives children the opportunity to have their voice heard as a part of the process.

We also encourage clients to return if issues arise and the door to mediation remains open in the months and years ahead.  In our experience, parents who have engaged in a full mediation process in relation to their children, will move ahead with sticking these arrangements.

Mediation also deals with legal issues around the finances and at Wells Family Mediation we encourage our clients to seek legal advice at an appropriate stage in the mediation to ensure they are fully informed about their position and they can use mediation as the place to discuss the issues and reach agreements. We have close links with excellent family solicitors who can also assist with the proposals being straightforwardly turned into legally binding documents.

At Wells Family Mediation we are here for our clients and their children; to listen, to signpost, and to support them to find their own solutions for the future.  We provide a safe and neutral space to work together with your ex in moving on from the difficulties of the past.

Jane Kerr

FMC accredited Family Mediator & Child Consultant