By the time one of you files for divorce, you and your ex are probably not relating to each other very well. Whether you have grown apart over multiple years or experienced a catastrophic rupture in your relationship because of violence or infidelity, divorce is a sign that you don’t interact well with each other anymore.
Many couples will fight it out, litigating their divorce because they don’t agree on anything or because they want to hurt or punish one another. This approach could be expensive. It can also make divorce a lot harder on the children in the family.
As mediation has become more mainstream and well-known, more divorcing parents are turning to this alternative dispute resolution system to resolve property division and custody matters. Why are parents in particular attracted to mediation?
Conflict is what makes divorce so hard on kids
It is certainly true that changing living circumstances and the disruption of the family unit will be hard on your children. However, the hardest parts about divorce for children are the conflict they witness and the pressure they experience.
Seeing parents fight or listening to them constantly talk poorly about one another is hard for children of any age. It can also be terrifying for a child to think about choosing one parent or the other during court proceedings. If the two of you go to mediation, you can effectively eliminate both of these stressors.
Your children won’t have any involvement in the custody proceedings, and you and your ex can effectively reduce how much conflict you have during your divorce. You also keep control over the custody terms and other big decisions, which can help reduce the disruption your children experience.
Mediation can also be a kind of fresh start
When parents decide to divorce, their focus is often on their differences and disagreements. Mediation forces them to work together and compromise, a process that can help heal their damaged relationship. Although they may never become as close as they were before, they may start to respect one another again and learn how to positively communicate with each other.
Exploring different systems when you want to file for divorce can help you choose the approach that will be best for your family.