If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, you may dread the thought of a lengthy, adversarial court process.
If you have children, consider mediation, a divorce option that offers benefits for you and your children, too.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. In this process, the divorcing couple meets with a trained mediator, a neutral third party, to develop a mutually satisfactory settlement agreement. The mediator guides the discussion, offers pertinent information about the legal system and helps the couple work through sticking points. Learning to cooperate with one another in working toward a mutual goal is vitally important. Not only is this beneficial for the adults, it is also an ability that children will notice and relate to in a positive way.
Mediation is less expensive, less time-consuming and much less stressful than litigation. Parents can explain to the children that they are going to sit down together to talk about family matters going forward and how the children’s needs come first. Children are sensitive to conflict and find mediation more peaceful and easier to understand than the courtroom process.
With divorce, life changes for everyone in the family. One of the benefits of mediation as compared with litigation is the control parents have in terms of continuing to raise their children as they think best without court interference. Mediation allows for the creation of a parenting plan that will address the needs of the children, forming a foundation for caring family relationships in a post-divorce world.