How mediation can benefit your child
Separation and divorce can be tough on parents and their relationship with their children. It’s normal to want to fight to try and preserve your relationship with your child, this is why many parents end up battling it out in the court room when it comes to parental rights, but it’s the fighting between parents that can do the most damage to your relationship with your child and can leave your child dealing with emotional scars many years into the future.
Long, drawn out court battles and contentious divorces can unsurprisingly leave children with lasting psychological and emotional damage. The court room environment and the legal process of dredging up each spouses dirty laundry in order to get the upper hand or ‘win’ the divorce is very harmful to children, and very rarely works out in the best interests of the family unit. It’s often the case that children find the court room process alienating, painful and intimidating and it often leads to their trust and comfort with their parents being broken. Court rooms also usually take away a child’s feeling of choice or involvement in the decisions being made about them or their future.
Once upon time, battling it out in the court room used to be the main way ex-spouses would sort through a divorce and make parenting arrangements. Luckily, alternative methods of managing divorce proceedings exist and many divorces are now settled outside of the court room with mediation.
Why mediation is better for your children
There are a number of benefits to mediation for all parties involved in a divorce, especially for the children dealing with the break-up of their parents.
Mediation can help to reduce the stress of divorce proceedings for your children. Mediation stops your children from feeling like they have to choose sides or be witness to their mother and father fighting it out in the court room; it also avoids them having to be in the court room, which can cause emotional and psychological distress for children by itself.
Mediation encourages parents to develop a parenting plan that works for everyone, rather than fighting over custody potentially to the detriment of the child. It also helps parents with develop a good foundation for long-term co-parenting and collaboration. The end of a marriage and divorce proceedings should not spell the end of successful parenting, both parents have a responsibility to do the best for their child. Mediation prepares parents for what comes after, and starts to do some of the emotional groundwork of managing life after divorce, unlike court room situations which are only concerned with facts.
Mediation is also far more cost effective than a long drawn out court battle. It’s no secret that acrimonious divorces can be a drain on savings and take up a lot of time. Mediation is a much faster process, and can help parents to protect funds so that they have more to spend on their children and it also means that they can spend more time with the child rather than on managing divorce proceedings.
Mediation is a more cost effective, time effective and collaborative approach to dealing with a divorce. It’s not a perfect fit for every situation but for most families it leads to easier and better outcomes and protects the well-being of the children involved. Parents can sometimes lose sight of what is best for their children and the family as a whole in the midst of a divorce; it’s an emotionally charged situation. Mediation allows grievances to be aired and dealt with in a healthy way.