Where this is achievable, it is in your child’s best interests to be able to have a loving relationship with both of their parents, when this can be provided safely and consistently. Children manage well when their parents separate if they are fortunate to have parents able to show the children that that can work together in the interests of the children. Unfortunately, the same is not true when children are subjected to conflict or used by one parent to hurt the other. Therefore, finding a way to work together as separated parents is important.
To make a referral to a child contact centre both parents will need to agree for this to happen.
Where parents disagree about their children or do not speak at all, help may be sought from the following places:
- Mutual friends can often support with communication and to a limited extent provide mediation between the parents.
- Trusted family members can often support with communication and to a limited extent provide mediation between the parents.
- Communicating in written form can assist communication, if people are careful not to abuse this or use emotionally charged language.
- Communication Apps. There are several different apps available, but something like ‘Our Family Wizard’ can support parents to communicate in the short term, where other methods have not worked.
- Cafcass/Cafcass Cymru (if involved), Cafcass website also has a range of information.
- Social Services (if involved).
- Solicitors might support with communication. This can sometimes be intimidating for the other party so caution might be advisable here. Resolution members follow a code of practice and you can also access a free conversation with a local solicitor, barrister and mediator by registering on the Family Law Panel
- Courts also provide an avenue for dispute resolution, where all other options have failed. Generally, this is best left as a last resort rather than a first point of call. You often will not get what you want in court and the process can be timely or expensive.