Divorce can be a challenging process that often involves difficult decisions, especially when it comes to determining a parenting plan for children. In these situations, emotions can run high, and communication may break down. However, there is a valuable tool that can help couples navigate this difficult terrain with empathy and efficiency – seeking the help of a family mediator for parenting plan development.
In this blog, we will explore the benefits of using a family mediator to establish a parenting plan during a divorce.
One of the primary advantages of family mediation is its ability to reduce conflict between divorcing parties.
Traditional legal battles can escalate tensions, making it harder to reach amicable agreements. Mediation, on the other hand, provides a neutral and controlled environment where both parties can express their concerns and work together to find common ground. A mediator helps keep communication respectful and focused on the children’s well-being.
Empowerment & Decision-Making:
Mediation empowers parents (and sometimes the children themselves) to actively participate in the decision-making process.
Unlike a court setting where a judge makes the final decisions, mediation allows parents to have the final say in shaping their parenting plan. This sense of control often leads to more satisfactory and customized outcomes that suit the unique needs of the family. Not every family need the same schedule and the court often applies a one (or three) sizes should fit all concept. Also, individuals tend to follow agreements they made themselves. Whereas, imposed agreements breed resentments and often result in non-compliance.
A family mediator is trained to prioritize the best interests of the children.
Through open communication and guided discussions, parents can develop child-centered solutions for custody and visitation that address the specific needs and preferences of their children. This ensures that the parenting plan is not only legally sound, but also emotionally supportive for the children involved.
Mediation is more cost-effective than traditional litigation.
Court proceedings can be lengthy and expensive due to legal fees, court costs, and other associated expenses. Mediation sessions are typically shorter, and the cost is often shared between both parties, making it a more affordable option for couples going through a divorce. I have had couples sit at my table for two hours and complete their parenting plan after not being able to after months of trying to litigate the matter. There is magic that happens when parents sit down at a table together and look each other in the eyes as they discuss what is best for their children.
Mediation is known for its efficiency.
While court cases can drag on for months or even years, mediation often results in a faster resolution. The collaborative nature of mediation allows couples to work through issues more promptly, helping them move forward with their lives and allowing children to adjust to new routines sooner.
Preservation of Relationships:
Divorce doesn’t only mark the end of a marriage, but also the beginning of a new phase in the family’s life.
Mediation focuses on fostering healthy communication and preserving relationships, particularly in regard to co-parenting. This approach is essential for families who wish to maintain a positive and cooperative relationship for the well-being of their children. Allowing the tension and anxiety to persist in the relationship post-divorce is beyond destructive.
How a Mediator Can Help with your Parenting Plan
In mediation we strive to help each client resolve the issues they need to resolve within the process so they can move on and start building a new, healthy foundation for their co-parenting relationship too.
Choosing a family mediator to assist in developing a parenting plan during divorce can be a wise and compassionate decision. Through reduced conflict, empowerment, child-centered solutions, cost-effectiveness, faster resolution, and the preservation of relationships, mediation offers a holistic approach to navigating the complexities of divorce while prioritizing the needs of the children.
Ultimately, the benefits of family mediation in custody cases extend beyond the legalities, fostering a foundation for positive co-parenting and the emotional well-being of all family members involved.
Contact West Coast Family Mediation Center for a free and confidential consultation in regard to your divorce and parenting plan.