Anna and Andrew had a messy break-up. They’d been living together for four years and had a little girl, Amy, together who was two and a half. They both blamed each other for the split and were so angry that they were unable to make arrangements for Amy to see Andrew. When they came to their first mediation session with Kenyon Son & Craddock they could hardly bear to look at each other and the atmosphere was very tense.
I started that first session encouraging Anna and Andrew to talk about their daughter, telling me what she was like, what she enjoyed doing. It became very clear that Amy was the most important person in both their lives and they wanted to be the very best parents they could and not to allow their break up to harm their daughter. Having established that common ground I started to ask them to look at making arrangements for Amy to spend time with both of them.
It certainly wasn’t easy at first. Andrew and Anna didn’t really trust each other but by the end of the session they had agreed some arrangements for Amy to spend time with her dad.
The second mediation session was much easier. Andrew and Anna had kept to the arrangements they had made and told me that Amy was really happy, especially when she saw her mum and dad beginning to talk to each other.
Anna said: ‘When we came to mediation we argued over everything but now we listen to what the other one has to say.’
Andrew said : ‘Before mediation if Anna wanted to change the arrangements for Amy it always led to a row. But last week she explained why she needed to swap days, I listened and we compromised.’
Andrew and Anna left mediation with a full parenting plan they had drawn up for Amy and a much improved relationship between them as parents.