Post Agreement Mediation (PAM) is a form of post-court order and/or post parenting agreement mediation that incorporates elements of coaching, supportive education, and training to help struggling parents effectively manage court-ordered or mediated agreements in the best interest of their children.
The process is conducted within the structure of mediation but incorporates various techniques and approaches to assist parents experiencing conflict, enabling them to manage agreements without resorting to further court applications.
Post Agreement Mediation is accessed once a written parenting agreement or plan is in place from mediation, or a Child Arrangements Order is obtained from the Family Court. It helps parents interpret and implement practical aspects of these agreements, ensuring the focus remains on the children rather than the conflict.
PAM's can help resolve various issues, such as agreeing on holiday schedules, managing non-school days for handovers, identifying, and managing personal triggers to prevent escalation, and support to settle disagreements without returning to court.
The Family Mediation Trust has secured grant funding through Norfolk Community Foundation and the Charity of Sir Richard Whittington to make this unique support available to families in Norfolk.
If one of the parents or the child resides in Norfolk, they can benefit from this funding opportunity.
Currently, we can only offer this as a subsidized service to families in Norfolk.
These rates are per person, and each party will be assessed separately. The full cost of these sessions, without grant funding, would be £180 per person per session.
Individual Meeting Rate
Joint Meeting Rate Per Client
Maximum over program of support per client
Those eligible for Legal Aid
Those who earn less than the Real Living Wage
If 2 PC staff are required £20
Those with income between £18,855-£30,000 per year
If 2 PC staff are required £50
Those with income between £30,000 -£50,000 per year
If 2 PC staff are required £50
Those with income of £50,000+ per year
If 2 PC staff are required £100
Participating in Post Agreement Mediation is a straightforward process. Follow these steps:
If you are working with a family facing or likely to face challenges in managing court agreements, it may be beneficial to refer the case to the Trust.
In such cases, we kindly request you to complete the REFERRAL form. One of our Post Agreement Mediators will directly contact you to discuss the case and provide further information on how Parenting Coordination works. After this discussion, if the Post Agreement Mediators deems the case suitable, we will reach out to the clients and proceed with the process outlined above.
The following Q&A has been put together to help you understand how the Post Agreement Mediation (PAM) process works:
Q: is this service the same as Parenting Coordination?
A: Parenting Coordination includes the function of making decisions when both parties cannot agree, our approach does not include this function. If a situation arises where an agreement cannot be reached, we will support you in exploring alternative options such as arbitration, mediation, or possibly returning to court.
Q: What training and qualifications will the Post Agreement Mediator have?
A: The Trust's two qualified parenting coordinators (PCs), Belinda and Claire, have extensive experience in family law. Belinda is a fully accredited family mediator and certified coach, and Claire is a family lawyer, mediator and certified coach. Both have undergone significant additional training in Parenting Coordination. They are also founding members of the Parenting Coordination Alliance.
Q: Will I need to pay for the assessment meeting?
A: Yes, the cost of the assessment meeting will be based on your income level, as outlined in the provided table.
Q: Will the PAM need to see the Section 7 report from court?
A: We have found that information like the child arrangements order, Section 7 report, judgment of the court and other experts' reports can be very helpful in creating an effective plan for a couple. Therefore, with your consent, we will request the file from the court. The Trust has been working collaboratively with the Norfolk Courts and CAFCASS on this project. If you choose not to provide consent, we may still be able to proceed with the case, but the progress may be limited in terms of effectiveness.
Q: How long does the Post Agreement Mediation process typically last?
A: The duration of the Post Agreement Mediation process can vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case. It is designed to be a shorter-term intervention aimed at helping families effectively manage their court agreements. On average, the process can last for several months, but it may continue for a longer or shorter duration based on the needs and progress of the family.
Q: Can Post Agreement Mediation help in cases involving domestic abuse?
A: Parenting Coordination can be beneficial in cases involving domestic abuse, but it requires careful consideration and assessment. The safety and well-being of all parties involved, especially the children, are of utmost importance. Our Parenting Coordinators are trained to identify and address issues related to domestic abuse and will work within a framework that ensures the safety of everyone involved. If you have concerns about domestic abuse, please let us know during the consultation, and we will take appropriate steps to address the situation.
Q: Will the Post Agreement Mediator meet with the parents together or separately?
A: Initially, the Post Agreement Mediator may meet with the parents separately to gather information, assess the situation, and understand each party's perspective. This allows for a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics and challenges involved. However, as the process progresses, joint meetings may be arranged to facilitate effective communication and collaboration between the parents. The approach will be tailored to the specific needs of the case and the best interests of the children.
Q: Is the Post Agreement Mediation process confidential?
A: Yes, confidentiality is an essential aspect of the Post Agreement Mediation process. Similar to mediation, the discussions and information shared during the process are treated as confidential. However, there are legal and ethical exceptions to confidentiality, such as situations involving child protection concerns or potential harm to individuals. The Parenting Coordinator will discuss the boundaries and limitations of confidentiality with you during the initial meetings to ensure a clear understanding of how information will be handled.
Q: What happens if one parent refuses to participate in Post Agreement Mediation?
A: The voluntary nature of Post Agreement Mediation means that both parents need to be willing to engage in the process for it to be effective. If one parent refuses to participate, the Post Agreement Mediator will explore alternative options and strategies to address the challenges and help the family move forward. These options may include referral to other appropriate services, such as mediation or individual counseling, to support the parent who is willing to engage. The Post Agreement Mediator will work closely with the available resources and stakeholders to find the best possible solution in such cases.
The Parenting Coordinators Alliance website provides significant information on this innovative approach to supporting separating couples.