Since each Mediation is strictly confidential, the names of those involved have been changed and the conflict has been altered to make it unrecognisable.
Conflict between divorced parents
Peter, 41, German, financial director, lives in Germany
and his ex-wife
Anabela, 36, Portuguese, teacher, lives in Portugal
After getting divorced two years ago, Peter returned to Germany. Their daughter in common, Cátia, stayed with her mother in Portugal. Peter paid €200 per month for maintenance, which Anabela thought wasn’t enough taking into account his “good salary” that she reckoned he received in Germany. When Cátia was 10, she got from her father a smartphone worth €800 “so they could make video calls”. Anabela immediately took the mobile phone away from her, as she thought it was “ridiculous giving her such an expensive mobile phone”.
When he visited his daughter for the next time, the conflict escalated. Aware that going down a legal route would be lengthy and expensive, Peter and Anabela chose to resolve the conflict through Mediation.
In Mediation, Anabela and Peter discovered that the real conflict between them was their relationship and that they needed to sort that out in order to achieve an overall and sustainable peace for both their sakes and for the sake of their daughter. If they didn’t, today the conflict might be over the mobile and tomorrow it would be over some other thing. If a child of 10 had to have and use a smartphone costing €800, that’s a factual issue that’s easy to resolve without emotions needing to be involved. However, in this case the mobile was really about the conflicting relationship between Anabela and Peter. They realised that first they had to resolve this issue, then the mobile phone issue would be easy to fix. And that’s what they did: In Mediation, they finally spoke about their needs, hurt feelings and fears. They talked and listened. They managed to develop mutual understanding and united around a common goal: Cátia’s wellbeing.
In the Mediation Agreement, Peter and Anabela defined their roles as parents and how they wanted to contribute towards Cátia’s wellbeing and development. They included a list of concrete measures like, for example, Cátia kept the smartphone for exclusive use at home and to make video calls to her father and thereby practice speaking German. Another point was increasing maintenance to €250 a month. They also made a commitment to showing more flexibility towards parental responsibility in the agreement.
Anabela, Peter and Cátia gained a general and sustainable peace. They managed to accept their relationship as parents, which before they had denied and hated. United in a mission to educate their daughter, they managed to stop fighting and place their focus on the positive things in life.