Choosing Child-Inclusive Mediation

Felicity Bell
University of Sydney – Faculty of Law

Judith Cashmore
University of Sydney – Faculty of Law

Patrick Parkinson
University of Sydney – Faculty of Law

Judi P. Single
University of Sydney – Faculty of Law

May 19, 2014

Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal, Vol. 23, pp. 253-264, 2012
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 14/53


Fourteen parents who had undertaken child-inclusive mediation, and a comparison group of 19 parents who had engaged in mediation without their children being involved, were asked about their views on utilising child-inclusive mediation to assist in the resolution of their disputes concerning parenting arrangements after separation. Most of the comparison group had not been offered the option of child-inclusive mediation either because it was not available in their area, or because the children were too young, or for other reasons, but would have chosen it had it been offered. Parents gave five reasons for wanting child-inclusive mediation. These were: the therapeutic benefit for the children in talking to someone; finding out how the children were feeling; giving the children a voice in the resolution of the dispute; to gain assurance that what the child was saying to that parent is the same as he or she would say to an independent person; and helping the other parent to hear what the child wanted. This research demonstrates the importance of providing clearer explanations to parents about what the purpose of child-inclusive mediation is.

Choosing Child-Inclusive Mediation

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