Lindsays’ Jennifer Gallagher qualifies in child inclusive mediation

Lindsays' Jennifer Gallagher qualifies in child inclusive mediation

Jennifer Gallagher

A family law expert at Lindsays is among the first in Scotland to qualify in child inclusive mediation.

Children in Scotland whose parents are separating are being given greater voice in legal discussions over their future.

Child Inclusive Mediation (CIM) is coming into play in some contact and residence cases being negotiated by specialist solicitors across the country.

Dundee-based family lawyer Jennifer Gallagher is among the first cohort of legal professionals in Scotland to complete the training required to offer the service.

Child inclusive mediation involves a mediator speaking to children whose parents are separating and feeding their views back as part of wider mediation in an attempt to reach agreement on arrangements like contact and the time they might spend with each parent.

Its roll-out is part of the steps being taken across Scotland to adopt the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which aims to give young people greater say on issues affecting their lives.

Ms Gallagher, a partner in family law at Lindsays, said: “In the right cases, child inclusive mediation can have a really positive impact for young people affected at what can be an uncertain, unsettling and stressful time for the whole family.

“It gives them a real – and acknowledged – voice in the wider mediation process involving their parents. It is an opportunity for them to share their views and wishes with someone independent and specially-trained in a non-intimidating way that can be difficult for them to do with their mum or dad.

“At the end of the day, it’s the lives of the children about whom their parents are mediating and, ultimately, seeking the best for. This carefully-designed process is a really important step forward in ensuring their feelings are taken into account.”

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