How Divorce Mediation Can Benefit Your Children

Henriksen LawDivorce Mediation Attorney

Divorce mediation attorney Robert M Henriksen

If you’re going through a divorce with kids, you’ve probably had your share of sleepless nights. You’re wondering how to break the news, help them adjust, and make the right decisions about custody. You want the best for your kids—they deserve it.

So, should you fight your partner in court? Not necessarily. In fact, unless there’s a situation involving abuse or danger, working with a mediation lawyer in Utah is often the better choice for keeping your children’s needs at the forefront. Here are seven reasons why mediation could be the best way to handle your divorce.

1. Puts the Child First

The goal of divorce mediation is to help you and your spouse work out an agreement that’s both flexible and realistic for everyone involved. The mediator’s job is to keep you focused on what really matters. What kind of life do you want for your children? How can you best achieve that with what you have? 

On the flip side, going through the traditional court process is a bit different. There, your divorce lawyer’s main goal is to “win” your case. Sure, they mean well, but their job is essentially to fight on your behalf. This can sometimes lead to parents slinging mud at each other, with the kids unfortunately stuck in the middle. Needless to say, this isn’t great for family bonding post-divorce. 

When you’re getting a divorce and you have kids, you need to think differently. Mediation can be a smarter, more peaceful way to handle things and set the stage for a better future as co-parents. 

2. Reduces Conflict and Tension

In high-conflict divorces, children might have to witness nasty arguments or feel like they should choose sides between their parents. This stress can be incredibly harmful to their emotional health

Mediation, on the other hand, creates a more cooperative atmosphere. Instead of fighting in court, both parents sit down with a mediator and work together to reach agreements. For kids, this means a more stable and peaceful home environment. They can see their parents working together to figure things out, which can be reassuring. 

3. Encourages Positive Co-Parenting

The Utah mediation process teaches you how to communicate effectively and come up with a plan that works. It’s the start of a new, respectful, and future-focused relationship with your ex-partner, and it sets a great example for your kids.

You might be thinking, “We never agreed on anything when we were together, how can we possibly cooperate now?” Well, mediators in Utah are trained specifically to help couples who have intense emotions but still want to find peaceful solutions for the sake of their kids. They’re skilled at keeping the conversation productive and cooling things down when they get too hot. 

Mediation isn’t just useful now; it’ll come in handy down the road, too. No parenting plan can cover every possible scenario. As co-parents, you’ll need to keep negotiating as things change. And if you ever hit a rough patch, you can always go back to mediation for help with specific issues. 

For most divorce cases, mediation can help you and your ex set the stage for a positive co-parenting relationship, which is exactly what your kids need.

4. Gives Children a Voice

One of the benefits of divorce mediation is that it can give children a chance to be heard. Depending on their age and maturity, kids can share their thoughts and feelings during the process. While they might not get to make any final decisions, their preferences and concerns are taken into account. 

When children know their opinions matter, it gives them a sense of control during a rather chaotic time. Including their input can help parents make decisions that consider their children’s needs and feelings. Overall, giving children a voice in the mediation process can make a big difference in how they cope and adjust to the changes in their family life.

5. Enables a Faster Resolution

Long, drawn-out legal battles can leave children stuck in a period of uncertainty and stress. They might not know where they’ll be living, how often they’ll see each parent, or how their daily life will change. They’re stuck in an anxiety-inducing limbo that makes it harder for them to cope. 

A quicker resolution through mediation helps minimize this period of uncertainty. Once the divorce is finalized, children can start establishing their new routines and settle into a new sense of normalcy.  

6. Satisfies Both Parents

Sometimes in traditional litigation, one parent may leave feeling dissatisfied because their requests were overlooked by the judge. Whatever the reason, the parent may feel the need to challenge the court to get what they want. Not only does this take up more time, but also adds extra stress for your kids. 

In the Utah mediation process, both parents are actively involved in making decisions. Once both parties feel good about the plan they have agreed on, they’re much more likely to stick to it. Working together to reach a plan helps parents leave the mediation room with fewer chances of future conflicts.

7. Puts You in Control

During a typical court case, a judge only gets a snapshot of your family situation through your lawyers. They might chat briefly with your kids or hear from a psychologist, and then they must decide who the kids live with and when. 

Put simply, the judge is in complete control over how and when you see your children. Even with the best lawyer, you’re ultimately at the mercy of a judge’s personal views on children and families. 

You and your spouse know your children best – their likes, dislikes, habits, and any special needs they might have. By opting for divorce mediation, you get to make the key decisions about custody and parenting. You can make sure your choices are truly the best for your kids, both now and in the future. Plus, since you both actively shape these decisions, you’re more likely to stick to the plan and work together as parents.

The Bottom Line

Divorce is tough, but mediation can help ease the pain for everyone, especially the kids. If you’re navigating a divorce and want to minimize the impact on your children, consider giving mediation a try. It might just make a challenging situation a bit more manageable for your family. 

Do you need help navigating your divorce? Feel free to schedule a consultation with Henriksen & Henriksen and discover how we can support you through this challenging time. Contact our mediation attorneys in Utah today!