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How a mediated divorce helps children

If a divorcing couple is able to work together well enough to choose mediation for their divorce rather than both hiring attorneys and possibly even ending up in court, it's the best choice for many reasons. Mediation can save money and time. It also allows couples more control over the ultimate outcome.

For couples who have children, mediation can be a particularly good choice that helps ease the stress of their parents' divorce for their kids. For couples with children, there are multiple advantages for having a mediated divorce.

First, it's a collaborative process versus an adversarial one. When you're working out a parenting plan and custody and visitation issues, the mediator helps you focus on what's in the best interests of the children rather than what each of you would prefer.

Mediation helps teach parents how to work together. That's something they will need to do as they co-parent their children in the future. By working out a parenting plan together, they'll begin their discussions of how they see their role in their children's lives post-divorce. Couples are also more likely to adhere to a plan they've developed themselves than one arrived at with each of their lawyers by their side.

Mediation reduces the stress and conflict of divorce. This can help both of you focus more on your children and their needs during this time. Further, if you aren't embroiled in a legal battle you're your spouse, you're less likely to expose your children to your negative feelings and frustrations about their other parent. That means that they're less likely to blame one parent more than the other for the divorce or feel the need to take sides.

If you and your spouse can work together productively to determine the terms of your divorce and the custody of your children, mediation can be better for everyone, both during the process and as you move forward as a new kind of family.

Source: The Spruce, "10 reasons to try child custody mediation," Jennifer Wolf, accessed May 26, 2017

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