When you divorced, you may have considered or gone through divorce mediation as an alternative to a traditional courtroom divorce to save money and minimize strain on your family unit. Many people opt for child custody mediation for the same reasons.
Child custody mediation involves utilizing an impartial third party known as a mediator to help you and your ex-spouse work through custody, visitation and related issues. It offers many benefits, in that it:
Can be easier emotionally on children
Contested divorces can cause considerable family strife, and often, children are some of the biggest victims. When you go through a traditional courtroom divorce, you may find yourself embroiled in an “us against them” type of scenario. In mediation, however, you and your ex share a common goal: doing what is in the best interests of the children.
Does not involve placing blame
Divorces come about for all types of reasons, and you may feel as if it is your partner and not you who is at fault for your current situation. Regardless of whether this is factually true, such differences of opinion can create conflict and make it extremely difficult for you and your ex to truly prioritize your child’s best interests. An impartial mediator helps you generate a parenting plan and work through related custody issues, blame-free.
Minimizes stress and conflict
When you are working through issues as significant as who your child will live with and when, you can expect tensions to run high. A strong mediator can help you and your ex stop dwelling on the past and concentrate only on the future, and he or she may also have the tools needed to help you and your partner climb over hurdles and work together successfully once again to achieve your common goal. Having the skills necessary to work through your issues can, in turn, improve sleep, calm emotions and minimize stress and emotional instability.
At the end of the day, child custody mediation is about doing what is in your child’s best interest. When emotions cloud judgment, which is quite common among divorcing couples, a mediator can ensure you and your ex continue to work toward your shared goal.