When time is called on a relationship, there are decisions to be made – Where will everyone live? How will it be paid for? How can we make sure our children
can be happy and thrive?

Parents need to choose how they will sort out future parenting and future financial arrangements.

To sort out parenting, go to Kids Come First. Go together. Go separately. But go. KCF offer 2 hour, bespoke, Positive Parenting Workshops. Parents come away from these workshops shored up in their confidence in prioritising their children’s interests and needs throughout the challenges ahead.

And now, to the Seven Choices for how to sort out future financial arrangements:

Go for a coffee

Sit and talk and decide together how to sort out finances so that you can live apart. You’ve always made financial decisions before, keep  doing so now.

Go to Mediation

I’m a family mediator so I’ve got to promote this option. Mediation offers a very clear and straightforward process for making decisions together about what will happen next in the family. The aim is to reduce the financial – and even more importantly – the emotional costs of family change.

Go to a Specialist Family Lawyer

I always recommend that clients choose a family lawyer who belongs to Resolution and subscribes to the Resolution Code of Practice.

Go to a Collaborative Family Lawyer

Collaborative Law offers round table meetings aimed at reaching agreements without going to court.

Go to Arbitration

You can hire your own, private judge – a Family Law Arbitrator – to make a legally binding decision for you, based on the law.

Go to Court

There are separate courts for parenting and finances. To apply to either court, an accredited family mediator normally needs to sign your court
application form. Here is a link to a document, aimed at helping navigate the financial settlement process https://www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/survival-guidesorting-out-your-finances-whenyou-get-divorced.

Do Nothing

The seventh choice is to Do Nothing – That is always an option – indeed, so is going to couples counselling to try and find a way to make each other happy again.

Difficult decisions ‘Seven choices’ sounds great, but, in practice, it doesn’t change the fact that difficult decisions need to be made. In mediation, we aim to be ‘tough on the problem’, not on each other. Mediation is always voluntary – everyone has to want to do it – so it starts with an intro meeting before everyone
commits. Here’s some info. on the intro meeting https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/family-mediation/assessmentmeeting-miam/.

Good luck – and when the financial, living, and emotional relationships are all sorted out, we have, for ever and for always, the parenting relationship that continues throughout life. No matter where everyone lives, children – including adult children – need to know that their family is and always will be there.

This article has been written by Gillian Krajewski, Family Mediator at Krajewski Mediation in New Malden. Gillian is Family Mediation Council Accredited and trains new mediators joining the field. You can find out more about Gillian and her practice at www.krajewskimediation.com or by calling 07939 047441.

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