Divorce is commonly a source of contention and fighting between parents, which can drastically increase how stressful divorce is for the children in the family. For couples not plagued with bullying or a history of abuse, mediation could be an alternative dispute resolution option for the outstanding issues and your pending divorce.
Not only can mediation give you more control over the outcome of your divorce and reduce how much you pay for court, but it can also help protect your children from the worst parts of a divorce.
Mediation means your kids don’t have to make custody decisions
The older children are, the more likely it is that the courts would expect them to weigh in on custody determinations in the divorce. Whether they get called into the judge’s chamber to discuss their relationships or have to take the stand and state a preference, needing to make that decision can cause a lot of stress for the child and make them worry about the damage their decision might cause to their parental relationships.
When you handle all the custody issues in mediation before you go to court, your kids no longer have to make any kind of statement, as you have already amicably resolved the terms yourself, meaning the courts only have to approve them.
Mediation reduces conflict, which is often damaging for kids
When the kids hear you fighting or bad-mouthing each other, the impact can be negative. Protracted divorce proceedings can often bring out resentment and anger in both spouses, leaving even the best-intentioned people vulnerable to the mistake of saying something negative in front of their children.
When you go through mediation, you are not fighting against your ex. Instead, you are working with them. That cooperative effort could lead to a much more pleasant overall atmosphere in your home and less acrimony during and after the divorce.
Finally, when the kids see you working with one another despite your differences and disagreements, they learn that compromise and cooperation are viable solutions to conflicts. Not only can you protect your kids from the drama of divorce by using mediation, but you can also set a positive example for them. If you’re interested in giving alternative resolutions a try instead of moving to a litigated divorce, find out more about your options.