Home » Divorce & Children: Mediation is the Best Solution

Mar 24, 2020

Divorce & Children: Mediation is the Best Solution

Children and Divorce

Your children are always a primary issue when considering divorce. Grief, guilt, and fear are very strong drivers when children are involved in dissolving a marriage. As you consider your options, no doubt “How will this affect my kids will be top of mind.” So, it is important to understand all your divorce options before committing to any one route. You can learn more about this on our page “Understanding Your Divorce Options”.

Choose the best solution for your family

As you weigh your options, finding the best solution for everyone including the children can be difficult. Unfortunately, many people head down the only path they are familiar with which is to hire a Divorce Attorney. Then. if necessary when all else fails, go to court. This is known as Divorce Litigation. While at times this may be the ultimate solution, many times it is not the best outcome, especially when children are involved. In our experience, a holistic solution that takes the family unit into account is a better long-term strategy.

Divorce mediation focuses on the best possible future

Beginning with the end in mind is where Divorce Mediation comes in. The goal is to work toward a mediated solution in which the entire family unit benefits as much as possible. In divorce litigation, an adversarial situation is created from the outset. Two sides are created: yours and theirs (your spouse.) Divorce Attorneys who specialize in litigation benefit from a protracted divorce as their fees are based on the number of hours worked. Unfortunately, in such a scenario, billable hours worked are more important than your children. We have heard that feedback over and over. If you choose an attorney that specializes in litigation, make sure you are completely comfortable before you proceed.

Divorce mediators are also divorce attorneys. The difference is that divorce mediators work toward a mutually agreeable solution, they don’t take sides. And with flat fee structure, billable hours don’t add up. You know the costs before you even begin. There is no conflict of interest. The only interest is your family’s well being.

Suggestions for helping children through divorce

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has put together a list of tips to keep in mind when talking to children about divorce:

  •  Do not keep it a secret or wait until the last minute.
  •  Tell your child together with your spouse if possible.
  •  Keep things simple and straight-forward and don’t share more information than your child is asking for.
  •  Tell them the divorce is not their fault.
  •  Admit that this will be sad and upsetting for everyone.
  •  Reassure your child that you both still love them and will always be their parents.
  •  Do not discuss each other’s faults or problems with the child.

Additional recommendations include the following:

Children respond best when they know that their mother and father will still be their parents even though the marriage is ending. Long custody disputes or pressure on a child to “choose” sides can be particularly harmful. Research shows that children do better when parents can minimize conflict and cooperate on their behalf.

©2020 Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation