Is Divorce Bad for Children? (Why Mediation is Better Than Litigation)

Any divorce that involves children will always be at least a little bit difficult, even if it is ultimately in the best interest of the children and general family dynamic.  While not all divorce has to be hard on children, it often is, particularly if they see their parents fighting or if child custody is used as a pawn in negotiations.  Further, it can be damaging for children to have to be called as witnesses in their parents’ divorce litigation.  For this reason, and many more, it is always in the best interest of the children to pursue divorce mediation rather than divorce litigation.

Divorce litigation tends to have a parent vs. parent dynamic, even if the divorce is relatively amicable.  Lawyers are trained to enter a courtroom and try to win for their client, even if the ones that ultimately pay the price are the children.  But, with divorce mediation, it is a far healthier dynamic for children and their interests are always prioritized.  The Spruce explains why divorce mediation offers many advantages over litigation for children, “Child custody mediation is a collaborative process with a common goal in mind: to do what is best for your children. Unlike the adversarial divorce process, mediation focuses on what is truly best for the children. Through this process, you will be able to establish a parenting plan that enables both parents to be actively involved in the children’s lives…A well-trained, professional mediator will not take sides. Instead, the purpose of meeting together is to work out a plan for moving forward. Instead of spending a lot of time rehashing the past, you’ll discover new ways to work together in the present. When you’re blaming one another for events leading up to the divorce, you become adversaries. This makes it very hard to then work together effectively on raising your children. Using a mediator can help you set aside the urge to blame one another and focus on developing new skills for collaborating as you create a parenting plan you’ll both agree on and adhere to.”  Divorce mediation ultimately leads to a lower-stress divorce for you and your spouse as well as your children.  Their rights and best interests will be neutrally protected so that your child’s mental and emotional well-being can be preserved and so that everyone can work towards a positive future.

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