Divorcing couples with children must get used to the new co-parenting responsibilities that accompany the family split.
Mediation is a divorce option that many couples choose over litigation and one that supports teamwork to create a successful parenting plan.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). A divorcing couple meets outside of court with a mediator, a neutral third party specially trained in this form of ADR. Without taking sides, the mediator assists in resolving sticking points and provides the couple with access to legal information that will help them arrive at a satisfactory divorce settlement agreement. Mediation is faster than litigation and therefore a less expensive divorce option. The parties engage in open communication and exercise control over their own divorce without having to rely on the decisions of a judge.
Parenting plan as a guide
Mediation is a good format for parties to discuss all aspects of their divorce including the continued upbringing of their children. They can collaborate on a parenting plan that works as a blueprint for raising their children once the divorce is behind them. Every parenting plan is unique, but major elements include the parenting time schedule, the responsible party for making major decisions, ways to manage childcare costs, methods for settling disputes that arise and methods to facilitate communication among all family members.
Benefits for all
Mediation is a less stressful divorce option than litigation and is better for children. This divorce option reduces conflict, improves parenting and encourages both parents to remain active in the lives of their children. Parents are usually happier with a settlement agreement they create themselves and are better able to help their children adjust to life after divorce with a sensible, workable parenting plan.