Lisa and Andy contacted Relate Mediation London North East after Lisa found the website whilst looking for some advice online.
They had separated 3 years ago when Andy had left the family home. At first Andy saw the children every other weekend but over the last few months contact had become patchy and this was causing arguments between them and the children were really upset at not seeing their Dad so often.
Also money had become an issue as Andy’s payments for the children had become hit and miss. Communication between them had broken down and when they did contact each other arguments began.
It’s alright for Lisa – she’s with the kids all the time.
I have to work to keep myself and them.
I love my kids. She turning them against me — It’s all about the money with Lisa”
Lisa was stressed and angry – Andy was upset and depressed – the children were unhappy, hurting and beginning to struggle with what was happening.
“Why does Andy think its ok to keep changing his weekends” It upsets the kids and if I’ve got any plans they go out the window”.
“It’s all about him – he’s the only one that matters”
“I can’t believe he thinks its ok not to pay for his children”
“I don’t know why my Dad doesn’t come to see me and my brother when he said he would.
“I don’t know if we did something and he doesn’t want to see us”
When Lisa told Andy this he was heartbroken. But again an argument began when Andy felt Lisa had been saying things to the children about him.
Lisa booked a Mediation Information Meeting with Relate Mediation LNE taking the first step to sort this out. Andy did the same and Mediation began.
Both agreed they loved the children and wanted the best for them and for Andy to be involved in their lives. Andy also wanted to help support the children financially.
At Mediation they were able to talk about why contact wasn’t working and why Andy was not always making his payments on time.
It became clear that Andy’s job had changed and he was expected to work on Saturdays within notice; he had problems with his car and he had to move to another flat – money had been tight for a while.
Lisa explained how hard it was to tell the children that Andy wasn’t seeing them and how difficult it was to meet household bills when Andy didn’t pay on time.
With the Mediators support they talked and looked at how they could work things out. They both wanted to protect the children from any conflict and find a way to talk to each other.
After 2 mediation sessions they had agreed on contact, payments for the children and what would happened during the School and Christmas Holidays.
“ I didn’t think we would ever be able to talk to each other without arguing but the Mediator was fantastic; we both said what was really felt and with the Mediators help we listened to each other. I think we are going to be ok and you can see the difference it’s made to the children”