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Co-parenting mediation 

Co-parenting mediation is an effective way of sorting out child arrangements between separated parents without involving the court or solicitors. Two trained mediators will help you and your ex-partner agree on where the children should live, how they share time between you, what type of contact takes place and when.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a safe place where people in conflict can come together to hold a difficult conversation. It involves a neutral third party – the mediators, who help people to talk about the issues they face and give them the opportunity to find a shared solution they are both happy with.

          Any questions? Call us on 020 7223 7744.

          7 reasons to use co-parenting mediation:

          1. It’s quicker and cheaper than court proceedings.

          2. It puts you in control. It is you and your ex-partner who will make all decisions, not a judge or the mediator.

          3. It puts the child(ren) first, encouraging you to co-parent well together, even when you are living separately or have new families.

          4. The mediators are neutral: All our mediators are trained to work with people whose relationship has broken down. They will act impartially to avoid conflicts of interest.


          5. It’s confidential. No information will be passed on to anyone unless you agree to it.

          6. A safe environment for communication. At the beginning of the meeting ground rules will be agreed, ensuring that you can speak freely and be listened to respectfully.

          7. Long-lasting agreements. Although agreements made in mediation are not legally binding, in our experience, arrangements made voluntarily are more likely to last than court orders, as they reflect the needs of parents and their children. Mediation can also help restore communication and rebuild trust.

          Happy couple black african skin people mother and son

          How much does co-parenting mediation cost?

          Co-parenting mediation is free for Wandsworth residents whose gross annual income is less than £41,500. For those above the threshold, we charge a flat fee (if the other party does not earn over £41,500, they do not have to pay):

          • £150 per party for the first meeting with the mediators and the first mediation of up to 2 hours.
          • £100 per party if you would like a further mediation.

          These rates are significantly discounted from our mediators’ standard rates for this work.

          VAT is not payable. The income that we generate is used to fund mediations for those who cannot afford to pay.

          Any questions? Call us on 020 7223 7744.

          How does co-parenting mediation work?


          You may have been referred to us by your social worker, Citizens Advice, Family Information Service, or you may have googled us. You will first be contacted by our case managers who will talk to you about the mediation process. With your permission, they will also contact your ex-partner. If you both agree, we will allocate two mediators who have the appropriate experience for your case, and arrange an initial meeting or Zoom call.

          Individual meetings

          The mediators will first meet you and your ex-partner separately. These meetings will take place on the same day one after another and last approximately an hour each. We can arrange staggered timings if things are particularly difficult between you. At the meeting, the mediators will explain the mediation process and listen to your view of the issues in dispute. They will also help you clarify what outcome you would like to achieve. If both of you are willing to move forward, a joint meeting will be arranged.

          Joint mediation session

          A joint mediation session will take place either in person or on Zoom, and will take around 2 hours. If you do not want to meet face to face, we can arrange a shuttle mediation where you are in separate rooms and the mediators move between you. The mediators will structure the discussion and help you keep focused on the issues, so that you can work out what the solutions are and how they may work in practice. They will not point fingers about who is right and who is wrong, or try and influence your decisions. The solutions you decide on can form an agreement which is usually written down, and signed by both sides and the mediators. This agreement is not legally binding.

          Post mediation

          Our case managers will follow up with you 3-4 weeks after the joint session to see how things are going. A second mediation session can be booked – a week, or a month later to see how the agreements have been kept and whether new agreements need to be made. Click here to find out more about the process and timing.

          “We are co-parenting in a 100% better way than before. Before, we used to have petty arguments. Now we have moved on and we can be there for the children”.

          Co-parenting mediation client

          “Mediation showed us how to change the way we communicate and things are getting better… The mediators were neutral and perfect. They helped me express what I felt… Before, I was scared to communicate. Now I just go with it”.

          Co-parenting mediation client

          “Impact was great as it helped with the ease of arrangements etc with the children”.

          Co-parenting mediation client

          “It has helped me to explain my situation in a calm way. WMS staff have human hearts and understand what people are going through. This charity needs all the help they can get as they literally save lives”.

          Co-parenting mediation client

          Co-parenting mediation  Questions

          We have a team of co-parenting mediators who are trained specifically in this type of mediation and have their own personal supervisors. They all offer their time and skills to Wandsworth Mediation Service without charging us. The majority of our mediators are Wandsworth residents and are looking to invest in their local community.

          We always have 2 mediators on each case who have the right skill set and experience for the particular case.

          We have seen a huge increase in demand for our service since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our mediators are fully trained to conduct conflict coaching and mediation sessions online.

          Online mediation means you can resolve disputes quicker, and from the comfort of your home. All you need is a computer or mobile phone, a webcam and a quiet location. Our dedicated case managers will provide detailed instructions and guide you through the set-up.

          If your ex-partner decides they do not want to use mediation, then conflict coaching with two of our trained coaches could be helpful to allow you to reflect on the issues and how you might approach things differently to reduce stress and anxiety– click here for more details.

          Unfortunately, we do not deal with C100 forms, MIAMs (Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings), finances or any other matters relating to divorce or relationship breakdown. We focus only on co-parenting issues, including contact arrangements, parental responsibilities and communication issues between separated parents.

          For assistance with MIAMs, please search for a divorce mediator by postcode on the Family Mediation Council website. Alternatively, you can contact one of the following mediators directly. These are all experienced family mediators who either volunteer with us currently, or have done so in the recent past.

          Legal advice:

          • Citizens Advice:

          This article covers a lot of information and also outlines what options are available to you if you don’t wish to mediate.

          A free service for anyone looking for information about organisations or people providing legal services in England and Wales that are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). 

          • The RCJ Advice Bureau Family Legal Centre (website)

          Legal advice about family matters, open 9.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

          • London South Bank University Legal Advice Clinic (website)

          Free public drop-in advice service staffed by LSBU law students working under the supervision of practising solicitors.

          Clear and helpful advice on a range of topics.

          Well-being support:

          • Balham Community Centre – Counselling Service (website)

          “Offer a professional, confidential counselling service, addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, bereavement, relationship difficulties, and low self-esteem. We work with individuals, couples and families. We are committed to making counselling affordable for everyone in our community. Fees/concessions are agreed with you at your initial meeting, based in your individual circumstances.”

          “Talk Wandsworth is part of the Department of Health’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative. The service is provided by South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust.  We offer: access to a range of talking therapies for people with common mental health problems and everyday challenges. We provide treatments that are recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).”

          tel: 020 3513 6264, choose option 4 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)

          • Wandsworth Wellbeing Hub (website)

          “Free and impartial NHS service which aims to help patients and the public to find organisations and services to support their health and wellbeing needs”

          tel. 020 3880 0366 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm),

          Family Support:

          “A charity supporting all aspects of parenting, including bereavement, divorce, single parenting”.

          “Home-Start offers support, friendship and practical help to parents with young children in the local community. We have three main services:

          • Core home visiting – one-to-one weekly support for families with children 3 months-5 years old
          • Bump to Baby – one-to-one weekly support starting from pregnancy and newborn stage
          • Hubs – group activities for Home Start families”
          • Wandsworth Young People’s Health Agency (website)

          1-2-1 counselling for young people in relation to drugs, alcohol and emotional health, such as bullying, coping with issues at home or school, anxiety. The service sees young people, aged 11-18 years, at various locations across Wandsworth, depending on where the young person lives, goes to school or feels comfortable meeting. Anyone can refer a young person to this agency and young people can self refer.

          If you have more questions, please visit our FAQs or contact us.

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