Case Studies

Child Mediation Case Study

Mike and Jane had been separated for 6 months when they came to mediation. Things had not been easy for anyone since the breakdown of the marriage but arguments about the children had got increasingly worse.

Mike felt that Jane was deliberately distancing him from the children. He was frustrated that Jane dictated when he could see the children. He knew the children wanted to spend more time with him.

Jane felt that Mike was attempting to control her life and that of the children's. She was frustrated that he didn't understand that expecting to see the children whenever it suited him was disruptive for them all.

In mediation, Mike and Jane agreed that they need a structured set of contact arrangements to reduce their conflict and ensure that everybody's needs; especially those of the children were being met. The mediator assisted Mike and Jane in putting together a plan that they thought would work. The plan covered holidays, as well as term time arrangements, Christmas and birthdays.

At the end of the meeting the parents were relieved and surprised that they had made so much progress. Although they were nervous about coming to mediation they found the mediator had put them at ease and was supportive.

They were encouraged by the progress made so attended one more meeting to discuss how they could increase their communication about the children and agree a way of dealing with matters if they had disagreements in the future.

Property and Finance Case Study

Steve and Debbie were on the verge of separating after 15 years of marriage. They had two major concerns. Firstly, the impact it would have on their two children aged 8 and 11 and secondly, the financial implications of separating. They did not want to spend the little savings they had on fighting each other in court so decided to use mediation.

Steve was worried that this would not be fair to him; it wasn't his decision to end the marriage and he could see himself losing everything. He felt that selling the house was the only way for them to afford two homes. Debbie's priority was to stay in the family home so the children would not be disrupted.

Using the financial forms the mediator gave them, they started the process by gathering details of all their finances. The mediator helped Steve and Debbie take a realistic look at their finances and their likely needs once they had separated. They were encouraged to obtain advice about Tax Credits and about mortgage options. The mediator also produced a statement of their financial information which they were able to take to their solicitors for some initial legal advice on possible settlement options.

It became clear to Debbie and Steve that they both had to modify their expectations but the mediator made sure that all their needs were properly considered and nobody was rushed into deciding anything. By focusing on the children's welfare and by considering a wider range of options than when they started mediation, they eventually come up with a plan that allowed Debbie to remain in the family home but release enough money for Steve to start building up a deposit for a new home for him.

Debbie and Steve had expected more of a fight over the family home. What helped was the mediator's impartiality and her skill in getting them to work on the problem together.

After five meetings, their proposals, which included details of the arrangements for the children to see Steve as well as the financial arrangements, were written in a Memorandum of Understanding, which Debbie's solicitor used as the basis of the Consent Order for their divorce.