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Charity National Family Mediation offers advice to over 50 Cardiff families in conflict

Parents living in Cardiff who have decided to separate or divorce in 2023 are being urged to find out how to avoid courtroom confrontation to settle money and parenting arrangements, with the launch of Family Mediation Week, 16 – 20 January.

January usually sees a dramatic rise in the number of parents deciding to live apart, or to start the separation or divorce process, as the various pressures that go hand-in-hand with the Christmas period act as a final straw for relationships.

Jane Robey, CEO of National Family Mediation (NFM), the largest provider of family mediation in England and Wales, including mediators in Cardiff says Family Mediation Week is designed to raise awareness of the benefits of family mediation, a process that can help ex-partners agree what works for them, whilst avoiding the court process with all the stress, delay and cost it can bring.

She says: “Many parents emerge from the festive period feeling defeated by the pressures on relationships and finances that have been highlighted during the holiday period.

“We often see a spike in enquiries across the country at this time, and are working with a number of parents in Cardiff who simply don’t know which way to turn. Their life-changing decision to separate brings with it so many tough questions:

  • Who lives where?
  • Where will the children live, and how will we make sure we each spend time with them?
  • How will we sort money?
  • What about debts and pensions?
  • And even the family dog?

Family Mediation Week shines a helpful spotlight on these tricky issues, offering separating parents information about their options as they look to make arrangements for parenting, property and finance.

“Family mediation is a process where an independent, professionally-trained mediator helps you work these things out, enabling you to avoid courtroom confrontation. 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.”

NFM is also taking part in the Ministry of Justice’s Family Mediation Voucher Scheme, which meets up to £500 of mediation costs for families if they need to discuss arrangements for children.

Jane added: “The key message that I want to get out there is that people don’t need to face this difficult time alone. There are trained mediators who can help to keep things amicable, and to find a solution and resolution for the problems at hand that genuinely works for all.”

Legal Aid remains available for family mediation.