Wednesday 2nd January 2019

Family Mediation Week 21-25 January 2019

Press Release


New guidelines are being introduced to ensure that all specialist family mediators actively promote listening to the voice of the child as part of the family mediation process.

Philippa Johnson, chair of the Family Mediators Association, explained: “Changes to the Code of Practice require all family mediators to encourage parents involved in family mediation to consider the wishes and feelings of their children. Really importantly, the Code now says that all children and young people aged 10 and above should be offered the opportunity to have their voices heard directly during the mediation, in line with government recommendations. No-one is saying that children should meet with a family mediator if they don’t want to; the point is that they should have the choice.”

These changes are designed to give children the same opportunity to contribute to the family mediation process that children involved in the court process already have to contribute to that. Philippa notes that “Some parents worry that this will put pressure on their children to make choices between their parents, but family mediators can only meet with children as part of a mediation if they have been trained to do this work and the training requirements are now more rigorous than ever before. Trained family mediators know how to find out what is important to the children they are talking to, without pressure.”

Philippa confirms that: “The Family Mediators Association is very pleased indeed that the importance of children’s views has been made clear by the Code and that new rules mean that every family mediator is having to do extra training on how to make sure children’s views are heard.”

Ashley Palmer, a family mediator who works regularly with children and has co-authored the Handover Book, explained: “More and more separating couples are turning to family mediation as a way of resolving their difficulties. A major benefit of family mediation is that it puts the children’s needs at the heart of the conversation between the parents and these recent changes are giving children an even greater voice within family mediation.”

The Family Mediators Association is supporting Family Mediation Week (21st – 25th January 2019), which aims to highlight the many advantages of family mediation as an alternative to litigation between separating couples.

For more information about this initiative, please visit:

If you would like to know more about how you can help your children have a voice within the mediation process, contact Adrienne Cox, Accredited Family Mediator, on 01392 409094.