3 potential benefits of mediating a divorce involving minor children

Children can be a powerful source of connection between spouses. They can also be one of the most common reasons parents fight when they decide to divorce. Trying to negotiate shared custody arrangements can be difficult. Even when people want amicable divorces, their feelings about their parental relationships might prevent them from achieving that goal.

Quite a few parents preparing for divorce decide to use mediation as a way of resolving their disagreements about parental rights and responsibilities. Many divorcing couples decide to attempt mediation, including those who share minor or otherwise dependent children.

Why do many parents find mediation to be a beneficial alternative to litigated divorce proceedings?

Mediation prioritizes privacy

One of the biggest benefits of divorce mediation is that it gives couples a confidential space in which to discuss their disagreements. Divorce litigation forces couples to expose major conflicts in a public setting. Those concerned about their privacy may feel anxious about discussing issues ranging from disciplinary approaches to substance abuse issues. Parents can talk about issues that may affect custody arrangements without making those concerns public records when they mediate custody disagreements.

Mediation limits conflict

Divorce is not inherently negative for children. In fact, divorce can sometimes be legitimately beneficial if it reduces the level of conflict the children live with on a daily basis. If parents manage to settle their disputes with each other directly, the children don’t have to worry about testifying in family court or discussing their custody preferences with a judge. The need to work cooperatively instead of fighting against each other during mediation can help repair a damaged relationship between the parents. They can practice conflict resolution and communication skills that may benefit them as they adjust to the new co-parenting arrangements.

Mediation gives parents control

Judges may try to establish custody arrangements that are in the best interests of the children, but they only have a cursory understanding of family circumstances. Parents who work cooperatively maintain control over their custody terms. Provided that they reach an agreement in mediation, they set the final terms for the parenting plan instead of granting a judge that power. Particularly when the family has unusual circumstances that require careful consideration, mediated custody negotiations can be much more effective than attempts to litigate.

Discussing divorce mediation as one of the options available when it comes to working through an upcoming divorce can help parents with custody disagreements to resolve. Parents who find ways to work cooperatively may find that the outcome of their divorce is less stressful and challenging for their shared children than those who fight over custody in court.