If you and your spouse are considering divorce, there are several routes that you can take — one of which is an alternative dispute resolution called family mediation. The premise of mediation is sitting down with your spouse and an objective third-party to work through difficult aspects of the divorce. Mediation is most productive and effective when you have an attorney who can help you prepare and guide you through the situation.
Think about a custom plan
If you go to trial, judges generally rule based on a standard agreement — which does not always consider the unique needs of individual families. For example, a judge may order one parent to have the children on weekends and to switch houses every other week. While this may seem like a logical agreement, it may not be in your children’s best interests nor allow for flexibility based on your children’s changing needs.
However, when you attend mediation, thinking about how you and your spouse can best parent your children to meet their needs is paramount. Additionally, every parent has his or her own strengths to bring to the table, and you want your children to be able to grow up with both. Mediation gives you the option create a parenting plan that custom fits your parenting style and your children’s needs.
Set an example for your children
If you have young children, they have their eyes on you throughout the divorce. How you behave during a difficult time and in a time of conflict will resonate with them. When you go through mediation, you set the example for effective and healthy conflict resolution. Generally, mediation causes less stress than a trial, so your children will already see you as a calmer version of yourself. Also, your children will see that sitting down and discussing problems is the best way to resolve a conflict. Mediation ultimately allows you and your spouse to reach a compromise.