Making child arrangements if you divorce or separate

3. Get help agreeing

A mediator can help you and your ex-partner agree on child arrangements, without taking sides.

Mediation isn’t relationship counselling. It can help you agree on the details of how you’ll look after your children, such as:

  • where they live
  • when they spend time with each parent
  • when and what other types of contact take place (phone calls, for example)

Find a local mediator.

Check if you can get legal aid for mediation.

What you agree in mediation isn’t legally binding unless you get a solicitor to draft a consent order for a court to approve.

The mediator can decide mediation isn’t right for you (for example, if there’s been domestic abuse and you need to go to court instead).

If you need more help agreeing

You can:

If you don’t agree on everything

You can ask a court to decide on anything you haven’t already agreed.

You must show you’ve attended a meeting to see if mediation is right for you before applying to a court. You won’t have to in certain cases, for example if there’s been domestic abuse or social services are involved.