Divorce is hardest on children. Regardless of how young kids are, they know when something is wrong between their parents. However, when a couple uses traditional divorce methods, the process of separating can be even harder on children. In addition to being more cost-effective, mediation enables a family to sustain a divorce in a gentler manner. Mediation is a positive process that focuses on moving forward instead of arguing over mistakes from the past. The process takes place in a comfortable environment agreed upon by each spouse. While this may not seem like a big change, a venue other than a courtroom can significantly reduce hostility between spouses.
Mediation occurs over several short sessions that focus on cooperation rather than conflict. A third-party mediator guides the couple toward making mutually beneficial decisions. In other words, spouses take control of their future, instead of allowing the court to make decisions for them.
You and your spouse determine the pace of mediation. The process can take as long as you want it to. Additionally, in mediation, you and your spouse can outline a parenting plan for your children. You can discuss custody and visitation rights and determine when each parent will spend time with your children.
The ending of a marriage is an emotional event. However, with mediation, you have the option of reducing the impact the event has on the lives of your children. Of course, in some cases, the divorcing couple is too contentious for mediation to be an effective approach. That is when you need a strong litigator to represent your best interests.
Attorney Laura C. Nagi is Chair of BoltNagi's Family Law & Children's Issues Practice Group. BoltNagi is a full service business law firm with a practice concentration in domestic relations, divorce, child support, family law and children's issues.