The children are often the most pressing concern for divorcing spouses. Traditionally, the divorce process would involve both parties fighting it out in the courtroom, battling for victory on every disputed issue that arises. Far too often, the children are caught in the middle of this battle, and they are the ones who suffer the most in the process.
Divorce mediation can provide a strong solution to the emotional challenges of children in the divorce process. Where traditional courtroom process does little to protect children, mediation offers a process that keeps the children out of the conflict and gets results that are more sensitive the needs of the children.
How Mediation Can Protect Your Children
The primary way mediation protects children in divorce is by keeping them out of the conflict. In traditional divorce, children would witness all the proceedings as their parents would paint each other in a negative light and fight over every aspect of their divorces. In some cases, the children would have to take sides to choose which parent they wanted to have physical custody.
In mediation, children are not generally involved in the proceedings. The parents meet in a much more private setting to make the most important determinations regarding custody and visitation schedules. This protects the children and helps prevent them from the emotional trauma involved in divorce.
Another way mediation protects the children is seen primarily in the aftermath of divorce, when the parents begin co-parenting. In traditional divorce, the judge would decide the details of the custody and visitation schedule. In most cases, a judge is not going to make a judgment on these matters that will work as well as a visitation agreement crafted by the parents themselves.
In mediation, the parents work out the details of their parenting plan on their own, in a way that will work well for their own family dynamics and schedules.
These are just a couple of the ways that mediation can protect children in the divorce process. While mediation is often required by the courts before divorce litigation is available, you can choose how you engage the process. It is important to do your best to make the mediation process work, for you and for your children.