Child custody mediation provides parents with a valuable alternative to an adversarial divorce. Through the process of mediation, parents have the opportunity to work together and create a parenting plan that honors each parent's unique contribution to their children's upbringing. Consider the following benefits of child custody mediation:
1. Mediation is Non-Adversarial
Child custody mediation is a collaborative process with a common goal in mind: to do what is best for your children. Unlike the adversarial divorce process, mediation focuses on what is truly best for the children. Through this process, you will be able to establish a parenting plan that enables both parents to be actively involved in the children's lives. The alternative is taking your ex-spouse to court and suing for custody of your children, which in many cases creates even more dissension and conflict.
2. Mediation is Easier on Your ChildrenA contested divorce is wrought with conflict, and we know this has a negative impact on children who are dealing with their parents' divorce. Even when your intentions are good, realize that it's your lawyer's job to do everything in his or her power to fight for you and your interests. This creates a situation where the children are unavoidably - even if unintentionally - caught in the middle. Instead, mediation focuses on what's best for the children and teaches you as parents how to separate your own interests from theirs.
3. A Mediator is NeutralA well-trained, professional mediator will not take sides. Instead, the purpose of meeting together is to work out a plan for moving forward. Instead of spending a lot of time rehashing the past, you'll discover new ways to work together in the present.
4. The Mediation Process is Free of BlameWhen you're blaming one another for events leading up to the divorce, you become adversaries. This makes it very hard to then work together effectively on raising your children. Using a mediator can help you set aside the urge to blame one another and focus on developing new skills for collaborating as you create a parenting plan you'll both agree on and adhere to.
5. Mediation Focuses on the FutureYou both love your children and want what is best for them. The mediation process focuses on the future and creating a workable plan that allows the children to have meaningful, dynamic relationships with both parents.
6. Mediation Reduces ConflictA good mediator will help you and your ex develop new skills for communicating with one another. Over time, this will considerably reduce the stress on all of you. When you and your ex are no longer arguing over the past, it's a lot easier to focus on what's best for the children in the "here and now."
7. Mediation Reduces Stress
The stress that weighs on you during a divorce can lead to insomnia, the inability to concentrate, and increased impatience with your children. As long as you remain in a constant state of conflict with your ex, this response is natural. Child custody mediation will lower your overall stress by giving you the tools to work through your conflicts and give you a hopeful outlook on the future.
8. Mediation Helps You Create an Effective Working Relationship With Your ExThis is one of the most important aspects of learning to work together in raising your children. Through mediation, you will learn to communicate effectively with one another and create a workable plan for the future.
9. Mediation is Less CostlyWhen you work with a lawyer, you pay him or her by the hour to represent your interests. Since your ex is also paying a lawyer for to represent his or her interests, the amount of time it takes to reach a consensus builds and the end result becomes extremely costly.
10. Mediation Creates a Win-Win Result
The focus of mediation is to create a plan that is best for the children. We know that in non-abusive situations, it is best for children to have access to both of their parents. The process of child custody mediation side-steps a lot unnecessary arguing and helps parents create a working relationship through which the children can thrive.