If you and your spouse recently decided that you no longer want to be married to each other and you have kids, the topic of how to handle your child custody issues probably came up pretty quickly. You know you cannot shield your children from everything as you go through your divorce, but you want to make sure that you limit the amount of stress it puts on them.
Even if this is the only thing you and the other parent agree on right now, it’s a good thing you do. You may take this time to capitalize on that agreement by finding a non-adversarial way to get through your child custody issues.
Mediation could provide the key
When parents need some extra help staying on task as they negotiate their child custody issues, they may find mediation invaluable. If you are trying to keep your children’s interests, happiness and security at the forefront of your divorce, then you may find the following benefits of mediation will help you achieve that goal:
- Mediation focuses on the future and avoids placing blame, which means that none of the “baggage” of your marriage has a place in the process since the goal is to design a good future for your children.
- Your mediator can help you and the other parent find better ways of communicating, which will definitely come in handy after the divorce and in the years to come.
- In fact, you and your future former spouse can create the foundation on which you will work together as parents in your parenting plan. Most parents don’t discuss how they will handle disagreements and conflicts post-divorce, but you now have the opportunity to do just that, which will most likely reduce potential conflicts in the future.
- The primary goal of mediation is to put your children first and come up with a parenting plan that will serve their best interests going forward.
- Since the mediation process is non-adversarial, you will most likely not experience as much stress as you would if you were facing a court battle.
- Your children’s stress will decrease by using this process since they know you are willing to put aside your differences for them and that they do not have to see you highly stressed as you would be facing a courtroom battle.
Another benefit that you should not overlook is that you and the other parent have the opportunity to shape your post-divorce future as co-parents. You do not have to rely on a judge to determine how your family will operate in the future. Moreover, you can consider options that may not otherwise come up if you went to court to resolve your child custody issues. In addition, mediation is often less costly, which would probably also help your stress levels during an already trying time in your life and in the life of your family.
While the spirit of cooperation and compromise are encouraged, especially when it comes to the fate of your children, you do still need to make sure that you protect your rights. It would be worthwhile to work with a family law attorney to help ensure that you do not inadvertently give up something you do not need to during the mediation process.