Back-to-school: Separating parents’ demand for family mediation set to rise

Family dispute experts in the North East Lincolnshire are preparing for an increase in demand from separating parents as the school summer holiday comes to an end.

“The pressures of the six-week school vacation often mean a rise in the number of couples calling time on their relationship,” says Adrian Coggon, Director and Accredited Family Mediator of John Barkers Family Mediation Service.

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The ‘picture postcard’ image of happy summer family holidays doesn’t ring true for many: “Sadly, the time that unhappy couples spend together in the summer can deepen long-standing cracks.

“The six-week break from the usual routines places huge burdens on fragile relationships, with the costs and other pressures that come with extra childcare responsibilities.

“Experience shows us that the end of a summer holiday can lead to one or both partners taking a long deep breath, and confirming what they’ve suspected for a long time: the relationship is over.”

Adrian says those who have made the life-changing decision to separate can feel daunted, not knowing where to turn: “When you separate or divorce, there are so many challenging questions, ranging from ‘Where will the children live?’ to ‘Who gets the family dog?’

“Other questions need answering too, including:

  • How can we make sure we each spend time with the children?
  • How will we sort money?
  • Who lives where?
  • What should we do about debts and pensions?

He says family mediators can help people as they come to terms with the scale of the arrangements that need to be made.

“Family mediation is a process that helps ex-partners agree what will work for them as they look to make parenting, property and finance arrangements. Our experts are ready to help guide you through, helping you feel in control of the process,” he says.

“An independent, professionally-trained mediator can help you work things out, avoiding the court process with all the stress, delay and cost it can bring.

“Professional mediators help empower you to create long-term solutions for your particular circumstances, rather than leaving it to a court to make decisions for your family.”

“Mediation allows the parties to stay in control, as no one will be made to do or agree to anything against their wishes. Unlike in a courtroom both partners can agree to a solution rather than have a judge decide for them.”

The government’s Family Mediation Voucher Scheme provides up to £500 to help separating couples make settlements using family mediation.

Also John Barkers Family Mediation Service will from the 1 st September 2023 be able offer legal aid for Family Mediation (subject to financial eligibility assessment). For privately funded mediation, John Barker’s offer competitive fixed fee pricing.

Anyone wanting to know more about the benefits of family mediation can visit or call 01472 358686. Appointments can be offered either face to face or remotely.