You and your future ex-spouse may not agree on much in the beginning of your divorce proceedings, but you may agree that, when it comes to your children, you need to figure out a way to work together. That may seem like an insurmountable task at this point, but both of you are steadfast in making it happen.
The problem is that the thought of sitting down together and working out an amicable agreement may cause stress, frustration and trepidation that you won't be able to come together to do it. Fortunately, you don't have to go it alone. Mediation may be the compromise you need.
What can mediation do for you?
First, mediation doesn't necessarily require you to get along. Mediators understand that couples come to them because they can't agree and often work under those conditions. The mediator can step in and help get you back on track. In addition, mediation can provide the following benefits to you and the other parent:
- It can set the tone for your future co-parenting relationship. The communication skills and ability to compromise that you develop during mediation could provide you with a foundation to begin with post-divorce.
- Mediation provides you with a non-adversarial and casual atmosphere in which to negotiate. Without the stress of a courtroom, you may be better able to reach an agreement.
- Mediation also tends to take much less time than going to court does. You could reach an agreement in weeks rather than months or years.
- You each get the chance to express your opinions and speak freely.
Many people often say that they reached a better, more satisfactory agreement through mediation. You have the ability to tailor your parenting plan to suit your family's needs. These two factors tend to make both parents more willing to adhere to the agreement in the future.
Even though mediation may be informal, you need to know that the mediator does not represent either of you. In order to make sure that your rights remain protected no matter what agreement you finally reach, it may be beneficial to involve an attorney in the process. Having someone available to answer your legal questions may help reduce the stress of the situation even more, which only helps you and the other parent come to an arrangement that suits the best interests of your children.