So, You Are a PARENT
Rewarding and challenging at the same time
All families have issues; some more than others but we are here to support you during the hard times.
What can we help with?
Divorce & Separation
Problems At Home
Contact With Your Children
Working with us doesn't have to be complicated
Let's have a chat
We can have a call, with no pressure, no obligation, just to find out where you are currently at.
Live A better life
Working with us can reduce stress, improve communication and help provide you with a better life.
Divorce & Separation
Divorce/separation is never easy.
When a relationship breaks down often those involved stop talking to each other – at a time when important decisions must be made.
If you and your ex can’t agree on what will happen and how you will manage to go your own separate ways with as little pain as possible, mediation with TalkFIRST can help you make sense of what is happening, understand each other better and agree a mutually beneficial way forward.
It was easy to discuss things that were previously impossible to talk about. We worked through our problems and healed wounds. Mediation was the best decision I ever made. My relationship with my ex has improved and the ability to communicate is better. Mediation at TalkFIRST helped us a lot. Being able to talk with a 3rd person present to help us understand each of us understand each other more clearly. It was better to face and resolve the issues.
Problems at home
Every family has difficulties and times when they can’t get along.
When things get tough, it is often those we live with or who are closest to with whom we struggle to communicate, meaning increased conflict and arguments, deteriorating relationship and lots of stress and worry.
Whether you need to talk to your children or teens, partner or whole family, TalkFIRST will help you have some of those tricky conversations in a calm and meaningful way, giving you the chance to understand each other better and decide what needs to happen to improve family life.
I have only positive things to say about mediation. I think as a family we all now think about what we are going to say, before we say it. It has minimised the conflict between us and our teenagers. It has made a big difference to all of us. Mediation at TalkFIRST helped us a lot. Being able to talk with a 3rd person present to help us understand each of us understand each other more clearly. It was better to face and resolve the issues.
Lynn and Greg
Contact with your children
At TalkFIRST, we know that not seeing your children after the breakdown of a relationship can be traumatic for parents and children alike.
Through mediation, separated families can make suitable contact arrangements, considering everybody’s needs but putting the children at the centre of things. Where appropriate, children / young people can be involved in the mediation (directly or indirectly) so they have ‘a say’ in what is decided.
I was stressed and feeling anxious about family issues. But thanks to you helping and listening, I feel less stressed and me and my husband are working at our issues and relationship out.
Agreeing on what is best for your children after you have separated can be difficult.
Often, compromise is needed to accommodate both party’s feelings; communication problems means it is hard to focus on the children and work together.
Through mediation with TalkFIRST, parents can find some middle ground and decide how to work together to meet the needs of their children and reduce stress and anxiety for everyone involved.
How we help
Conflict Resolution and Mediation
If you are experiencing conflict and having trouble communicating effectively about the issues at hand, our mediation service will help you do just that.
We offer a 1-day course, which is an overview of mediation and a CPDSO accredited 3-day course which will provide you with all the skills required to facilitate mediation and conflict resolution yourself.
This is our accredited conflict resolution workshop for children in years 4 – 7, available to school classes and youth groups. Its purpose is to help children develop their conflict resolution skills at a young age.
Got a Question?
TalkFIRST can help you talk about and reach agreement on many issues. Most people thing family mediation is just for separating and divorcing couples; we will s help you talk to other people too, to help repair relationships and address conflict. For example; parents – teens, whole family groups, grandparents, extended family and people who are important to you but may not be related by blood.
Mediation has many benefits. It is considerably cheaper than using a solicitor and far quicker. Whilst it might be difficult for you to talk to your ex about how to move forward, it can be hugely beneficial to address these issues with the support of a mediator. He/she won’t take sides but will help you both express yourselves and hear each other’s points of view.
Before you go to court, you must explore the opportunity to mediate, by meeting with a mediator for a MIAM (Mediator Information and Assessment Meeting). If, following your MIAM, you do not wish to mediate or, your mediator assesses the situation as not suitable (for example in the case of domestic abuse or ongoing child welfare investigation) you may then proceed directly to court. In these cases, your mediator will sign the relevant page of the Form C100 exempting you from mediation.
Mediators are skilled at helping clients talk through the important issues and recognise that semotional factors impact on what people say and hear. We can help you talk about and reach agreement on child issues, such as contact and co-parenting and sort out what will happen to the family home and how to split assets (such as belongings, savings, pensions) and liabilities (debts).
No, mediation is voluntary. However, it is always a good idea to have a chat with a mediator before deciding as hearing about the process and how it can work for people in difficult relationships and high conflict can help you make an educated decision one way or the other.
Yes. Your mediator will not share anything about your sessions unless there are concerns around the welfare of children or adults or any issues relating to a criminal acts, when they have a duty to contact the relevant agencies.
Costs vary depending on what you want to mediate about and whether you want to mediate out of office hours. We have funding that is targeted at the Wigan Borough and specifically for people wanting to mediate over child arrangements or parenting issues. (We do however charge for signing court forms if mediation breaks down or is not possible).
We charge like any other mediator for MIAMS, Mediation sessions and writing Mediation Summaries and/or signing court forms for people who do not live in Wigan.
We do not carry out work funded by Legal Aid.
Its always free to ring us and speak to us about your situation and to ask about our charges.
There is limited public funding available in some circumstances, including low income and cases where domestic abuse is a feature. Click this link for up to date information and an on line calculator.
No, agreements reached in mediation is not a legal document. If you think you need the outcome to be legally binding, in relation to child matters, property or finance following separation/divorce, your meditator will draw up an Outcome Statement or Financial Statement detailing what you agreed in mediation. You can then take this to a solicitor or to court yourself to form the basis of a Child Arrangements Order or Financial Order.
A parenting Plan is drawn up between you with the help of your mediator. It will be a detailed account of how you agree to co-parent your children together following separation/divorce. The Plan will focus on the needs of your children as well as making sure it is as fair as possible to each parent. Things you might decide to put into your Parenting Plan include, contact at birthdays or Christmas, how you will jointly make big decisions (such as what school your child might attend) and who will pay for what, such as school trips. A parenting plan can contribute to a Child Arrangement Order.
If you want to go to court following failed mediation, or if mediation doesn’t happen, you will need to start the process by completing a form C100.
We recognise that sometimes it can be hard to take time off work or other responsibilities, so we have some evening and weekend slots available.
These are Monday – Thursday (last appointment 6pm)
These cannot be guaranteed but we will do our best to accommodate you.