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Going back to school or even starting school for the very first time can be a tough and stressful time not only for the children but also for the parents. When you add a separation into the mix, the potential for stress and anxiety is heightened.

For parents, this can be a challenging time and can involve having to discuss with your ex-partner how much time your child will spend with each of you now that they are in full-time education or back to school. Discussions may include how many overnight stays your child has with each of you, who does pick ups and collections from school and which one of you takes your child to their out of school activities.

There are many issues which you may face when discussing back to school with your ex-partner such as:

  • Changes to schedule – the time your child spends with each of you may change as it will be dictated by your child’s own timetable;
  • Communication – which is more difficult in separated families, can become even more hostile as changes occur in routine;
  • Differences in opinion – in respect of extra-curricular activities, school choices etc which can cause difficulties for separated families.

So, how can parents approach this difficult time?

  • The three Cs. Communicate, communicate, communicate. The more you talk to each other about upcoming changes in your child’s routine, the more you can work together to find solutions;
  • Make joint decisions. The worst thing you can do is to change the time your ex-partner sees your child without prior discussion and agreement;
  • Trial new arrangements. If you need to make changes to the child care arrangements, there is nothing wrong with agreeing to trial something new and then review whether this new arrangement is workable for the family.

At Consilia Mediation we can help you and your former partner agree arrangements for your children. Through the process of family mediation, we can help you to reach mutually agreeable proposals which can form the basis of a parenting plan for your children. Mediation can also help you to improve/maintain a dialogue as parents so that you can parent together into the future.

One of the major benefits of the mediation process is that we recognise that as parents you are best placed to make decisions regarding your child’s care. Our role is to facilitate those discussions so that you are able to make decisions for the benefit of your family going forward.

Check out our dedicated Consilia Mediation website for more information about mediation and our two experienced accredited solicitor mediators, Laura Clapton and Sarah Manning. Alternatively, you can give us a call on 0113 322 9222 for more information or email us at