For child mediation there are specific issues we discuss commonly we work with.
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Specific issues - child mediation
These are the most common discussion points in Mediation regarding children
Its always best to try mediation before going to court
There are certain issues couples usually go to court over when divorcing or separating. Here are some of these issues and why mediation is the best way to resolve them.
A time may come, as a result of a divorce or separation, where the issue of with whom and where your kids live comes to the fore. Hence, for that reason, a Residence Order application is often made.
It is a court order settling the arrangements of the place a child is going to live. The Family Proceedings Court issues this order, and it details which parent the kids should reside with.
The Residence Order normally provides details of where and when the kids can be visited by a parent who did not manage to gain residency.
After the Residence Order has been given, Parental Responsibility for the kids will go to the individual with whom the kids will be living.
You should apply for this order if only you and your partner can’t come to a friendly arrangement relating to your children’s living arrangements.
If that’s the case, then you should consult with a lawyer that specialises in family law, who is going to give you advice on the course of action that you should take.
They will suggest a period of mediation to be entered into before you pursue this matter through the courts.
A Specific Issue Order
You can make this order under section 8 of the ChA 1989 (Children Act 1989). A Specific Issue Order gives directions for any specific question that may arise, or that has arisen, in connection with the aspects of parental responsibility for a kid.
For instance, one of the parents finding a new partner and then wanting to move to another location, or one of the parents wanting to take the kids overseas on an extended holiday.
The main concern of the court is always the child’s welfare and their best interests. The order can be used in determining questions about the upbringing of a child.
This order can be made with a CAO (child arrangements order) or on its own.
Examples of Specific Issue Order
- Taking a kid to live in another country on a permanent basis.
- Whether the child should receive non-religious or religious education.
- Whether the kid should have a certain medical operation or treatment including immunisation.
- Decisions concerning the education of the child and whether the kid should be educated privately or attend a state school.
- Whether your kid or kids should change their name(s).
Disputes normally arise over the choice of religion. However, kids of mixed heritage are often given the choice of deciding for themselves the religion, if any, they wish to follow.
How mediation can help
Mediation is a process in which two parties discuss their conflicts with the help of a mediator who assists them to reach a settlement.
For instance, this can be an informal meeting among divorcing couples or two partners in a divorce. The dispute may be potentially a dispute that can be filed in court or pending in a court.
The purpose of mediation is always a peaceful agreement.
Mediation helps maintain family relationships by fostering understanding, encouraging communication plus decreasing the conflict between the two parties.
Mediators let the parties make their decisions concerning what is best for their kids. Generally, mediation is less costly when compared to litigation, meaning that more money will be available for the parents and children’s needs.
Family mediators facilitate problem-solving and communication between couples and help develop agreements that meet separation and divorce challenges in a confident and cooperative manner.
PSO (Prohibited Steps Order)
It’s a court order granted in divorce and separation cases. It prevents either of the two parents from carrying out some events or travelling abroad with their kids without the express approval of the other parent.
It’s common in cases where there’s a suspicion that one of the parents may decide to leave the area together with their kids.
One parent can go with their kid abroad or take them for the weekend and never returning them, and this can become very hard if the other parent wants to get the kid back.
This is an example of a scenario that a Prohibited Steps Order seeks to prevent.
You can take your kid on holiday only if the court agrees. For this to happen, you have to appear before a magistrate to prove that you’re not likely to go abroad and not come back.
Also, it has to be something your ex-partner agrees to.
PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY ORDER
If you’re a father, but you aren’t married to your partner, and your kids aren’t living with you, you might not have the right of making important decisions concerning your children.
To get this right, you have to apply for a Parental Responsibility Order. However, if you were or are still married to your partner, you already have Parental Responsibility.
Typically, this means that you have the right to be always kept informed concerning your kid’s welfare, health, education and you can also make decisions regarding their welfare, health and education.
To get parental responsibility, you may not have to go to court. If you come to an agreement with your partner, you can both enter into a type of contract known as a Parental Responsibility Agreement.
Both parents must sign a form; a Magistrate or an Officer of the Court will have to witness the parent’s signatures.