Your lives are stressful enough now that you face divorce without adding a courtroom battle into the mix. Even if you try to keep the proceedings from your children, they will feel your anxiety, stress and other negative emotions associated with litigation.
If you hope to build a solid, healthy foundation for co-parenting with your future former spouse after the divorce is final, then you may want to find another way to resolve your divorce issues.
Mediation may be worth a try
Mediation provides you with a kinder, gentler way to resolve your divorce issues, including the question of custody. During the negotiations, you can build a framework within your parenting plan that could give you and the other parent a good start to your future in co-parenting, such as the following:
- Agree that the children need each parent in their lives.
- Create a specific schedule that each of you vows to follow unless extraordinary circumstances arise.
- Include a provision agreeing to discuss any needed changes to the schedule right away.
- Agree to exercise some flexibility if possible when the other parent needs changes to the schedule.
- Include a provision agreeing to call the other parent if either of you needs childcare during your parenting time.
- Agree that each of you may attend school functions, extra-curricular activities or other events involving the children together. That way, everyone enjoys the same memories and takes part in all of the children's accomplishments.
- Create a set of rules regarding your interactions with each other. Neither parent may interfere in the life of the other as long as a parent's actions and choices do not bring harm to the children.
Negotiating these types of provisions into a parenting plan could provide the children with the support, safety and love they need in order to get through this period in their lives. In addition, a well-negotiated plan can take the whole family into the future with hope. Mediation provides you with the tools you need in order to make this happen.
Mediation provides you with an atmosphere of compromise and cooperation in which to create your parenting plan. In addition, it helps you build the foundation you need in order to continue to raise your children despite the end of your marital relationship. Even in this atmosphere, you may still want to ensure that your rights remain protected.