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One important tip for successful co-parenting after divorce

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Family Law

Parents who have chosen to end their marital relationship know that they will likely continue to have a parenting relationship with their former spouse. Although the divorce confirms that the romantic side of the relationship is over, children often still have a need for both parents in their lives.

Over the years, the legal system has developed a relatively new system to help parents move to this next step of the parenting relationship with more control over the way they raise their children. Instead of using traditional litigation and depending on a court to develop the parenting plan on their behalf, the parents can choose to use mediation to complete their divorce.

What is mediation?

Divorce mediation is a collaborative approach that allows couples to navigate their divorce process more efficiently and amicably. Unlike traditional litigation, where lawyers represent spouses against each other, mediation encourages cooperation and focuses on finding mutually agreeable solutions. Key differences between mediation and traditional litigation include:

  • Non-adversarial approach: In mediation, spouses work together with a neutral third party — the mediator — to reach agreements based on their unique family circumstances. This contrasts with the adversarial nature of traditional divorce, where lawyers often battle in court.
  • Control over outcomes: Mediation empowers couples to control the outcome of their divorce. They discuss asset division, custody arrangements, and support without the contentious courtroom drama.
  • Reduced stress and cost: Mediation is often faster, less expensive, and less stressful than litigation. It can minimize emotional strain, which can positively impact co-parenting after divorce.

During mediation, a mediator guides discussions, ensuring both parties stay focused on fair outcomes. The mediator does not take sides or advocate for either spouse. Instead, they help navigate couples through conversations to address asset division, child custody, visitation schedules, and financial matters.

Once parents reach an agreement, the mediator prepares a comprehensive divorce settlement agreement and necessary paperwork for court approval.

When is mediation not appropriate for divorce?

Although mediation is generally beneficial, there are situations that are best served through the traditional system. This can include marriages that have a history of domestic violence or extreme hostility.

How does mediation benefit children after divorce?

Children will likely go through a range of emotions during the divorce, much like their parents. They recognize that divorce signals a change in their family structure, and any change can be frightening. Mediation can allow parents to present a united front to their children — signalling that although the marriage is ending their dedication as parents to the children remains strong. Key benefits present in mediation that allow for this united front include:

  • Child-centric approach: Mediation allows parents to prioritize the best interests of their children. Parents can create parenting plans that promote stability and minimize disruptions.
  • Co-parenting success: By working together during mediation, parents lay the foundation for a cooperative co-parenting relationship post-divorce.
  • Streamlined process: Mediation often serves as a “one-stop” solution, simplifying the divorce process and reducing administrative burdens.

Divorce mediation offers a path to a fair and efficient divorce process. It fosters collaboration, reduces stress, and sets the stage for successful co-parenting. Parents going through a divorce are wise to consider mediation as a constructive alternative to traditional litigation.