Benefits of Mediating Child Custody & Visitation
Going through a divorce is one of the most difficult things anyone experiences in a lifetime. You are bombarded with seemingly-impossible choices at a time when a range of emotions can overwhelm you. When the decisions you have to make involve your children, it can be difficult to know what to do. It’s hard for both parents to remain objective when you have to make a parenting plan for sharing and raising your children.
Almost every couple faces the same dilemma and confronts the agony of realizing that they must consider the best interests of their children, not those of the parents. That’s why having a neutral person help you come up with the best solution for you, your children and your ex is a popular option.
A mediator is one of these neutral people, someone whose goal is to do what is best for the children. A mediator helps you agree on a parenting plan, including custody and visitation schedules that work for everyone.
7 Reasons Custody & Visitation Mediation Is the Better Option
- Mediation is less costly than litigation in court. It can also save thousands of dollars on attorney fees, court costs and time you need to take off work to attend hearings and meet with your lawyer. Although your divorce lawyer will likely be involved in setting up the mediation and providing documents to the mediator, the legal fees will be significantly less than they would if you went to court.
- Mediators will not take sides. A mediator helps you address all necessary issues at hand without passing judgment and without giving guidance. Mediators truly are neutral parties whose only goals are to keep the process moving forward and to help you reach an amicable agreement.
- The goal is to focus on the future, not the past. Children are healthier when they have good relationships with both parents and have the security of knowing that these relationships will not be abruptly yanked away from them.
- Divorce is hard on everyone in the family, but children may have a more difficult time expressing their feelings and worry about taking sides. Mediators help you keep the children from getting caught in the middle and help you separate your own issues from your children.
- The process avoids blaming one party or the other. Mediators help you focus on learning how to collaborate on developing a parenting plan that will work for both of you.
- You’ll learn how to communicate with the other parent and future stepparents. A good mediator will help you and your ex-spouse learn how to communicate with each other and have an effective working relationship around your children’s well-being. While you don’t need to be best friends, you still need to communicate about your children’s needs and events in their lives. You’ll learn how to do this in a way that is the least stressful for everyone.
- If you are less stressed, you will sleep better and be more productive during the day—and be a better parent. It’s natural to be short on patience and always on edge when you are unable to sleep and resolve issues that eat away at you. Custody mediation helps you resolve the conflicts that are keeping you up at night.
Mediation Focuses on What’s Best for Children
The goal of mediation is to create a parenting plan that includes custody, visitation and a general philosophy about what is best for your children. It works in the long term if everyone benefits and it is something that both parents are committed to following.
If we can help answer any questions about whether mediation is a good option for you, please contact us.