Children sharing preferences on contact and residence arrangements in child-inclusive family mediation in Norway
Mediation is mandatory for all separating and divorcing parents in Norway with children under 16 years. The participation of children is voluntary. Living arrangement preferences presented by children attending child-inclusive family mediation in Norway (n = 346, aged 4–18 years) have been examined. 47.1 per cent of children gave a living arrangement preference, and older children were more likely to express a preference for living primarily with the mother compared to an equal time-sharing arrangement. Children very often gave reasoned explanations for their wishes. Children’s utilisation of the potential in their participation supports future inclusion of children in mediation processes. The best interests of the child needs to be examined on an individual basis as children present various preferences that is not in line with a presumption of fixed time-sharing following parental break-up.