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Talking is good to help issues

Family mediation provides invaluable support when couples are separating or divorcing.

Thousands of adults in the UK feel they don’t have anybody to talk to about their problems, according to new research by Time to Change. People facing problems relating to relationships, mental health and money often feel they have nobody to confide in.

Having others to share our problems with is always important – as the saying goes, “A problem shared is a problem halved”. Never is this more important than when couples face relationship challenges such as separation or divorce. In these very unsettling circumstances, family mediation can offer much-needed support – a listening ear, a fresh perspective and a neutral, non-threatening environment.

Loneliness and isolation are not just problems endured by people living alone: indeed, people confronting relationship problems can find themselves feeling lonely and isolated even whilst living under the same roof as their partner and children. This can lead to a tense atmosphere and can even begin to impact negatively on their mental health.

Sometimes couples struggle to find the right moment to sit down and work through difficult issues, or the right place for an open and honest conversation. It can be particularly hard when children are involved as parents may be reluctant to have frank exchanges in their presence. Time to Change identified “barriers to talking” that can cause insurmountable hurdles, preventing couples from discussing their feelings together. Sometimes, months or even years can go by whilst people wait for the perfect moment to open up.

This is where family mediation comes in. It offers the perfect space and time for airing the concerns and issues that both parties have kept bottled up.

Separation or divorce can be problematic and stressful for any couple, but when families with children (be they toddlers or teenagers) face these unsettling events, it can be particularly beneficial to involve a family mediation service. Trying to accommodate the needs and preferences of children adds an extra dimension to the separation or divorce process, and the specialist input of an experienced mediator can make all the difference.

Though discussing these issues with other trusted adults (such as grandparents or family friends) can be helpful and provide individuals with a chance to off-load, family mediation services provide high-quality, professional support, with no hidden agendas. For parents who are trying to achieve the best outcome for their children with the least fuss and hassle, this can be a real lifeline. Childcare arrangements and finances are just two of the areas that a knowledgeable family mediator can assist with.

It is in the toughest times that people most need support. The additional help and input that family mediation services offer then becomes invaluable.