Case Study: Barry and Susan

Spending time with children


Barry and Susan’s relationship came to a head when Barry moved out of the family home and into his new girlfriends unit. Barry and Susan acknowledged that their marriage was over but arguments continued over the amount of time that Barry would spend with their children. The conflict continued to escalate to a point where both 8-year-old Connor and Lucy were clearly being affected. Connor’s teacher had noticed that Connor was unusually disruptive at school whilst Lucy aged 5 had become withdrawn and was having difficulty sleeping at night.

Barry decided to see a solicitor to find out what his rights were and was referred to us as a way forward. As this was parenting matter, Barry and Susan were required to participate in mediation by law and make a genuine effort to resolve their dispute, before either of them could issue court proceedings.

Although Susan admitted that she had her doubts as to whether mediation would work at first, she agreed to try as a way of breaking the deadlock. Barry and Susan had practically stopped talking to each other.


Our mediator helped them to understand each other’s position and their children’s needs in one session. Barry and Susan managed to arrive at a resolution that was acceptable to them both. Arrangements to spend time with each of them at a suitable time and place. A parenting plan was drafted and put in place, reviewable after six months. Barry got to see his children the week following mediation.


“The kids are definitely happier now. They know when they are seeing Barry and we aren’t arguing anymore. They seem a lot more settled now. I found the mediator, professional and impartial. The mediator helped us work things out on a practical level and to do that, we had had to put aside our feelings we had towards each other and focus on the kids….it wasn’t easy but we had to do it for our kids.”


“I am sure that mediation helped us move things along in a way that we couldn’t without someone assisting us. I dread to think of what my relationship with my children would have been like if I couldn’t have seen them for months before a court hearing.”


Names have been changed to protect identities