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Using mediation to protect children during divorce

Divorce is often harmful for both parents and their children. If divorcing parents do not take great care to protect their children, those children may carry deep emotional wounds for many years, and the parents’ relationships with them may never fully recover. Most likely, you know individuals who still struggle with the emotional baggage of their parents’ divorce, or you may struggle with these things yourself.

Like many difficult experiences, you have the power to decide your priorities and how you conduct yourself throughout the divorce process. In many cases, parents who choose to put the well-being of their children first find that they have an easier experience helping their children cope with the process.

How is mediation good for children?

One of the best tools available to parents who need to divorce is divorce mediation. Mediation takes a civil, fair approach to the divorce process, founded on the idea that both sides can “win” at each stage of the divorce if both sides agree to work together toward fair compromises.

Mediation involves both parties working with a trained mediator who helps both sides understand the scope of the issues they must resolve while encouraging honest, fair negotiations.

These meetings don’t have to be shouting matches, and they’re not intended to leave any one party in an unfair position. The mediator is a professional, fair neutral party who serves both parents as they draft a plan for the future.

This focus on professionalism and fairness helps both parties put their best selves forward at the negotiation table, and these benefits extend to the children in the marriage. In some cases, mediation merely keeps the process civil and relatively quick, while, in others, parents may use the process as a teachable opportunity to demonstrate to their children how to maturely deal with disappointment and heartbreak. These are lessons that your children may gather from the process in one way or another, so it is usually wise to teach them the lessons you want them to learn.

In addition, the agreements you reach may help you avoid courtroom appearances, and can protect the privacy of your family because the mediation sessions are not on public record.

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