Parents living throughout the UK who have decided to separate or divorce in 2024 are being urged to find out how to avoid courtroom confrontation to settle money and parenting arrangements, with the launch of Family Mediation Week, 22 – 26 January.
January usually sees a dramatic rise in the number of parents deciding to live apart as the various pressures that go hand-in-hand with the Christmas period act as a final straw for relationships.
Sarah Manning, Chair of Family Mediation Week and Partner at Hall Brown Family Law comments: “The purpose of Family Mediation Week is to raise awareness of mediation and its benefits to separating families. Our aim is to encourage separating couples to think about family mediation as a way of helping them take control, make decisions together and build a positive future for their family.
“Many parents emerge from the festive period feeling defeated by the pressures on relationships and finances that have been highlighted during the holiday period.
“Throughout the UK, and here in Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester, we find that parents in this position simply don’t know which way to turn. Their life-changing decision to separate brings with it so many tough questions:
- Who lives where?
- Where will the children live, and how will we make sure we each spend time with them?
- How will we sort money?
- What about debts and pensions?
- And even the family dog?
“Family Mediation Week shines a helpful spotlight on these tricky issues, offering separating parents information about their options as they look to make arrangements for parenting, property and finance.”
Hall Brown have made a pledge this year to ‘spread awareness of the benefits of mediation to teachers in local schools’ by issuing copies of ‘Split Survival Kit, 10 Steps for coping with your parents’ separation’ book to local schools.
The book is an essential 10-step guide for children whose parents are splitting up, containing expert insight and practical tips from child psychologist, Angharad Rudkin, and co-written by children’s author Ruth Fitzgerald.
This fantastic book will now be available on many library shelves within schools for children and teachers to access.
Sarah added: “We hope to support and provide information to teachers, parents and children locally, and that this pledge goes some way in doing so.
“Teachers are regularly in contact with parents and many of those parents will have separated and will need to make arrangements for their children, such as where they will live or when/how often they will see different family members; parents may also need to discuss property and finances. Making these arrangements isn’t easy, and parents often do not know where to turn to help them sort things out.”
Family Mediation Week have put on several FREE webinars available for families when facing separation. Family Mediation Week takes place on Monday 22nd January through to Friday 26th January. www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/fmw/all-events/