Getting divorced is an emotional process. For many people, it is also nerve-wracking. It can be difficult to predict how the courts will rule on critical aspects of the divorce, such as child custody and asset division. Unfortunately, when you litigate your divorce, all the power is in the hands of the judge presiding over your case. That can leave you and your spouse unhappy with the outcome.
For some couples, mediation could be an excellent alternative to traditional divorce court. In mediation, you and your spouse, along with your individual attorneys, sit down with a neutral third party. You discuss various issues and work your way to compromise on topics such as vacations and the division of holidays for custody or who gets the vacation home. You can push on issues that matter more to you and concede on those that don’t.
Mediation can protect your kids from emotional damage
Watching parents divorce can be emotionally devastating for children. Feeling forced to testify in court about which parent they want to live with or what kind of behavior they witnessed can create a lot of stress. Children may worry that the non-custodial parent may no longer love them after they testify. They may withdraw from both relationships or feel like they are somehow to blame for the issues that you and your spouse have gone through.
It can also be damaging for a child to witness parents testify about each other and fight in court. It can undermine the trust and love they have for their parents. No one wins when the parental-child relationship gets damaged. It’s much better for children to see their parents cooperating during a divorce and maintaining a calm, if not friendly, relationship during ongoing interactions. Mediation protects your children from the worst parts of divorce.
Mediation can help you resolve issues
While the focus of mediation isn’t working through your marital problems, finding a common ground can help you both establish a better relationship for co-parenting. Once you have children together, chances are that you’ll be dealing with one another for the rest of your lives. Wouldn’t it be much nicer to have the ability to interact civilly instead of with open hostility and resentment?
Finding the means to compromise during mediation can help you both reach closure and feel better about your divorce. Once you can agree on critical and often contentious issues like custody and asset division, you may be able to work toward healthier interactions for your future co-parenting efforts.
Seeing your spouse concede on something that matters deeply to you can also help you overcome the anger that so often builds up during a contentious court-based divorce. Being able to work together and communicate calmly will make things much easier for both of you in the future.