If there’s one thing that you and your spouse still have in common, it may be your intense love for your children. Divorce may put you at odds with one another and will only worsen your already-damaged relationship.
When you find yourselves disagreeing about how you should share custody or the best way to rotate holidays, it may seem like a court battle is inevitable. Thankfully, it is absolutely possible for those currently embroiled in a contentious custody disagreement to work out their disputes.
Mediation is a popular tool employed by those who want to resolve their disagreements before going to family court. Why might those currently arguing over custody matters benefit from mediation?
1. The mediator could suggest a workable compromise
Both you and the attorney representing you will have your best interests and the needs of the children as the top priority in the divorce negotiations. You may quickly become inflexible even when your spouse or their lawyer makes what many would consider a reasonable suggestion.
Bringing in a neutral mediator can help ensure that everybody focuses on their best interests and on the children while also benefiting from a fresh perspective. Mediators can often suggest a compromise that at least helps couples resume their negotiations, if it does not resolve the current disagreement.
2. The parents can work on their relationship instead of damaging it
Mediation requires a bit of empathy for your spouse and a willingness to work together. While that may not seem very realistic given where your relationship is currently at, you need to get to that point to co-parent effectively.
Mediation helps you repair your relationship during an important transitional time where you must stop fighting with one another and start working with one another again. You may have to set new rules for communication and conflict resolution that will continue to benefit you after you finalize the custody arrangement.
3. Your children have protection from the dispute
Divorce is inherently disruptive for children, but the conflict that you have with your ex is what causes the most stress and long-term damage.
Given that mediation can help you quickly resolve disagreements, it can reduce how many arguments or stressed phone conversations the children witness. It can also absolve the children of any responsibility to speak about their own preferences, which can be a very stressful requirement for older children in a custody dispute.
Mediation can be a powerful tool for couples who know they need to co-parent peacefully but currently disagree on all of the practical considerations about sharing custody. Considering divorce mediation and other alternate strategies can help those hoping to divorce while minimizing the impact of the process on their children.