Divorce Mediation Instead Of Litigation For The Sake Of Your Children

There are many times in which litigating your divorce is necessary. Your spouse may be hiding marital assets, they may be abusive physically or emotionally, or you and your spouse simply cannot envisage mediating your divorce. But if mediation is possible, do you owe it to your children to at the very least to give divorce mediation a try? As parents, we want the best for our children. When our children are hurting, we’re hurting twice as much. So it’s important to think about the effects a litigated divorce may have on your children in comparison with a mediated divorce.

Divorce Mediation Benefit Children

Divorce Mediation Vs. Divorce Litigation – The Difference In Dynamic

You may already hold resentments against your spouse as your marriage is dissolving. But a divorce mediator’s role is to help you and your spouse place those resentments aside in order to keep your divorce as amicable and fair as possible. In a litigated, adversarial divorce, however, there’s no actual aim at fairness. Both parties are pinned against one another, every case ending with one “winner” and one “loser”. Both can create very different dynamics and set the tone for the future of a family.

How Child Custody Is Handled In Litigation

It’s up to the judge to determine what is best for the child, which, in many cases (ie. one parent is an alcoholic) is necessary. A judge will take into account each parent’s preferences as well as the preferences of their children, the parents’ emotional and physical health, the children’s emotional and physical health, each parent’s ability to provide a stable lifestyle for their children, and many other crucial factors. The adversarial nature of litigation, which pins two parents against one another, may easily create a power struggle over custody. Children may be appointed a law guardian who interviews them and reports their findings to the court in order to aid the judge in resolving matters of custody. Some children may feel extremely uncomfortable being asked personal questions regarding their parents and how they feel about them. Unless there are issues of abuse, neglect, alcoholism, drug use etc., why should children be placed in a tug-of-war battle? When these issues aren’t present, and mediation is possible, it may be best for your children’s wellbeing.

How Child Custody Is Handled In Mediation

In Divorce Mediation, the final decision on child custody is entirely up to the parents. A mediator’s role is to facilitate cooperative conversation between two parents and place an emphasis on the children’s best interests. If mediation is successful, there is no need for the children to be appointed a law guardian. There is no reason for them to appear in court. Successful mediation spares children from some of the traumatizing aspects of Divorce Litigation. Experienced Divorce Mediators can also suggest creative solutions for future circumstances that may call for flexibility or changes in regard to a parenting plan. A decision on child custody becomes binding after both parents are happy with their plan and it is signed by both parents and submitted to court.

In contrast to Divorce Litigation, which can create a toxic family dynamic, Divorce Mediation may actually help divorced parents cooperatively communicate and place any resentments they have aside in order to follow a co-parenting plan that tailors to their children’s best interests and wellbeing. Whereas the litigation process can exacerbate tensions between two divorcing couples, the mediation process may set the tone for cooperative communication post-divorce, particularly when it comes to co-parenting. It’s important to remember that you are setting an example for your children in terms of how you and your ex-spouse communicate.

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