The Place of Children in Divorce Mediation

Many parents choose mediation over litigation because it eases the stress their children might feel during a divorce. Involving children in mediation proceedings will help parents ensure that their children’s interests are being protected.

When parents decide to get a divorce, all of their decisions will have consequences for their children. All parents want to protect their children from the pain and suffering that can stem from a divorce, but the involvement of children is often necessary in divorce proceedings. Today, more and more parents are turning to this option rather than risking the negative impact litigation might have on their children. In fact, many parents choose to pursue mediation precisely because they have the common goal of doing what is best for their children.

Through the mediation process, parents will be able to establish a parenting plan that will work best for all members of the family. While it is the adults in the relationship that will make decisions during mediation, the input of children can be valuable and is something that parents should consider when making these plans.

If parents have made the decision to consider their children’s input during mediation, then this may require an interview. The mediator may choose to interview the child himself, or a child therapist may conduct the interview instead. These interviews can be difficult, though, because children may not want to speak about their parents’ divorce to a stranger, they may not want to disappoint one parent, or they may have been coached to give certain answers. In such cases, a child therapist may be used to conduct an interview, as he or she will be highly qualified to deal with the children’s emotional issues.

Sometimes, a mediator may believe that an interview is not necessary and may simply ask parents about their impressions of their children’s wants. This actually focuses parents on their children and encourages them to consider their children’s needs. Once this has been discussed, the mediator will then try to incorporate what the parents have communicated into the mediation decisions.

By including their children’s interests in their divorce mediation proceedings, parents will ensure that the mediation process goes smoothly. Mediation will ensure a better outcome will be achieved for the entire family and will help family members lay the foundation for a more cooperative future.

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