Divorce is rough on everyone involved. Both the spouses going through divorce will likely have to move through the five stages of grief to come to terms with the end of the relationship. In marriages with minor children, there’s also reason to feel concerned about the impact of the divorce on the children. The entire process, from fighting parents to a protracted court battle, can leave emotional scars that take years to heal.
Some of the most difficult things for children in a divorce include witnessing the animosity between parents, worrying that they caused the divorce or needing to choose in court which parent they want to live with. Listening to testimony about the worst behavior of each parent can also damage the delicate parent-child relationship and lead to feelings of social isolation and even feeling unloved. Thankfully, you have an option to protect your kids from that. Mediation can help you divorce without dragging the kids into it.
Understanding how mediation works in divorce
Mediation is an alternative to waging a massive battle in the courts over custody and asset division. This process involves both you and your ex, as well as your individual attorneys, sitting down with a neutral third party to discuss the terms of your divorce.
Unlike couple’s therapy, you won’t need to discuss the issues that led to the dissolution of your marriage unless one of you believes it impacts asset division or custody. Instead, you can focus on finding a way to compromise on the issues, from how to split up holidays and summer vacation with your kids to the handling of your marital home. In many cases, mediation can help you both agree to terms that, while not perfect, are workable for everyone involved.
Mediation empowers adults and shields kids
Divorce can take away all your power, because a judge ends up deciding all of the terms. In mediation, you and your spouse are empowered to push for the things that matter most to you while working for a compromise that you can both live with.
More importantly, mediation shields your children from the worst of divorce. They won’t hear any testimony or even need to decide whom they want to live with. Instead, they will witness their parents working together, even as the marriage comes to an end. This not only protects minor children from the worst emotional fallout of a divorce, it also sets a positive example about how adults handle dispute resolution.
If you believe that divorce is inevitable, but you and your spouse can talk and compromise on key issues, mediation could be a faster, simpler and even less expensive alternative to a protracted divorce in the courts.