Divorce can be a contentious and emotionally fraught process that has a lasting impact on everyone. When there are children involved, the way that the parents interact during the divorce process can leave long-lasting emotional effects. Mediation can provide a way for parents to work towards resolving child custody, support, and other related issues in a more amicable way, modeling positive conflict resolution for their children and putting the children’s best interests first.
How Does Mediation Work?
Mediation works by having both parties to a divorce work with a neutral third party to resolve their issues and reach a divorce agreement. Both spouses can have their own divorce lawyer to support them, but the neutral third party listens to each side on the issues and helps them find a solution that both can agree on.
Even couples who might not get along very well, in general, can find it beneficial to have that third party present to listen and help as it can make the divorce process run its course faster, and it can also be less costly. Working together to resolve these issues instead of fighting in court can also reduce the tension between the parties. A faster and more peaceful resolution to the divorce is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic when the tension in some households has risen so much that it ended in abuse. Resolving a divorce quickly and without acrimony can be particularly helpful when there are children involved who will be affected by their parents’ interactions during this period.
How Mediation Can Benefit Children in the Middle of a Divorce
Divorce is a highly emotional process for everyone involved. Parents might become so consumed in their battle with each other that they might not even perceive how their children are being affected by this and how these effects will have a long-lasting impact on their emotional health. However, when parents decide that mediation is the right path towards divorce, they will need to sit down together, put their emotional issues aside, and work towards finding a way forward. During mediation, parents not only discuss the division of property. They can resolve many issues including custody and visitation, parenting plans, child support, and tax issues related to the children.
With the support of the mediator and each parent’s respective divorce lawyer, parents can model more positive behavior towards conflict resolutions that show their children that divorce does not mean the end of the family and that, even as their marriage is ending, parents are thinking first of what is best for their children.
Helping Your Children During Divorce
The dissolution of marriage is a time where children can experience anger and grief as they face what can seem to them to be the end of their family. They might act out and struggle at home and in school during this period. There are many ways you can help your children cope through and after divorce. They need both parents actively involved in their lives. Working together through mediation to reach an agreement on child-related issues can show the children that both parents are committed to them even if their relationship with each other has ended. Through your support, your children can overcome the many challenges they encounter during this time. You can offer your children support through a variety of ways, including:
- listening to their fears and concerns about the future
- being patient with their own process of grief
- providing routines and stability
- modeling positive interactions between parents
- encouraging and supporting the time the child spends with the other parent
If you are a parent who is getting divorced and would like to explore the option of mediation to resolve your issues, contact the Law Office of Joanne Kleiner for assistance. You can call us at 215-885-1266 to schedule an appointment in our Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, office.