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Crafting a parenting plan during mediation

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Going through the divorce process can weigh you down. Considering everything at stake, it can become an overwhelming prospect to get through.

Mediation is one way that couples can get through a split with more of a say in what their post-divorce life will look like. Avoiding court may benefit couples in many ways. Creating a parenting plan in this environment can give you a better handle on co-parenting successfully once the process ends.

The role of a mediator

A mediator acts as a judge in that what happens on the record becomes legally binding. A mediator does not make decisions based on evidence. Instead, the mediator tries to get both sides to reach an agreement on important divorce issues.

Creating a parenting plan in mediation

The court's focus in divorces involving custody is the best interests of the children. A mediator also adheres to this thought process. When parents think clearly, free of the pressures and stress of court or their personal feelings, they may start to agree on things they did not previously. A mediator sets out to help parents create a parenting plan that considers:

  • Work schedules

  • The children's school and activity schedules

  • The age of the children and attachment to one parent

  • School demands

Keeping the plan in the hands of the parents

When a judge must step in and make decisions during a divorce, things may worsen for the individuals involved. A judge goes by the letter of the law and the best interests of the children. If parents cannot agree on a reasonable plan, a judge may rule that the parents exercise a shared custody model that does not work for the family. However, because they could not agree, it is out of their hands. Thus, working hard during mediation to make these decisions pays off with an arrangement that works for all involved.

Going to mediation can take some of the pressure off a divorce proceeding by creating a safe environment to express wishes and concerns. Using a mediator keeps control in the hands of the parents.

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