A decision to enter the process of family mediation can be quite daunting.

We appreciate separated parents are dealing with the end of a relationship and parenting in a pandemic.

What can you expect when you contact Family Mediation NI? At Family Mediation NI our sessions last approximately an hour and a half and following on from the individual Information and Assessment Meeting, you may be offered up to four sessions funded by the HSCB. Screening for suitability for this service is essential.

We have adjusted our service over the last year and separated parents have been keen to use Zoom to agree how they may minimise impact on their children and ensure they continue to have a healthy relationship with both parents.

Essentially it is about good communication and managing conflict. It is hearing each other out in a respectful way, and without blaming the other.

The adult relationship may be over but both of you continue to be parents. Mediation is future focussed, so that parents plan positively for what is going to work better for their family and changing circumstances (rather than raking over the mistakes of the past). This gives you good practice for raising your children successfully as separated parents long after mediation has finished.

When your relationship ends you may try to manage with best of intentions, but find that your communication is strained and difficult, then mediation might be just what you need to change that dynamic. Mediators do not judge and are impartial. They encourage a fresh start, a new way of communicating and to agree arrangements that will be as unique as each family is. Mediators are not Counsellors!



Working with a professional, accredited mediator can help parents to have better, more productive communication about issues that are important to them, like scheduling time with the children, handovers, joint parenting decisions, wider family, holidays or introducing new partners.

Whatever you want to discuss in Family Mediation, using Zoom, with an accredited mediator, you are more likely to have a successful outcome. Here are just some of the reasons why:


The mediator will:

· create a safe space – discussions are managed.

· ensure that both parents have an opportunity to say what needs to be said.

· check that what has been said has been properly understood by the other.

· make sure that your issues are discussed.

· assist with option generation.

· help with reality checking – have a look at how to change things, if things don’t go according to plan.

· Use a facilitative model of mediation that enables both parents to take ownership of the process.

· Ensure that decisions agreed are joint decisions.

· write up agreements in plain English (co-parenting plan)