Divorce is a difficult time for everyone in your family. You and your spouse will deal with the sorrow, anger and grief that come from a failed marriage. Your children will also experience a host of negative emotions, from anger and sorrow to confusion and guilt. While these reactions are normal and processing these emotions is healthy, there are still things you can do to reduce the impact of your divorce on your children.
Mediation is one way to make high-asset divorce easier for your children and your family as a whole. Instead of a contentious, protracted court battle for every asset and hour of parenting time, you and your spouse can focus on amicable resolutions for the outstanding issues from your marriage. Not only will this result in a faster and more affordable divorce, it can also shield your children from the fallout of a divorce trial.
Children aren't involved in mediation like court cases
Depending on the age of the children in your family, the courts may ask them to weigh in on the custody decision. Some may also have to testify as witnesses in the divorce proceedings. Obviously, either of these duties can put a lot of strain on the children. They may worry that one parent will shun them if they ask to live with the other. What they hear in court can damage the relationships they have with their parents in the future as well.
Mediation insulates the children from all of that potential pain and drama. Instead of needing to listen to testimony or choose where to live, they will hear directly from their parents about the outcome of the mediation negotiations.
Mediation helps build a co-parenting relationship
When parents divorce, there has usually been a serious breakdown of their marital relationship. They may no longer enjoy each other's company or agree about key issues. Divorce may only exacerbate that breakdown, creating additional hostility and a competitive, negative approach to the relationship.
Mediation, on the other hand, forces both parents to compromise and seek solutions that work well for everyone in the family. Negotiating together for the end benefit of the entire family unit can help the spouses find common ground. That, in turn, can provide a basis for a healthier relationship and smoother interactions in the future when exchanging custody or celebrating special events like birthdays.
Mediation shows children how to handle conflict well
Divorce often shows children that fighting is the solution to interpersonal problems. Mediation models compromise and respectful cooperation as the means to solve problems. When children see their divorcing parents cooperate and work together, it can set a powerful example for them to follow in the future. All the of these benefits are excellent reasons why you should consider mediation for your upcoming divorce with minor children.