When parents part ways in their adult relationship, the single most important decision they will make is what kind of parents they want to be going forward. Conflict is felt by the children directly and indirectly. It is nearly impossible to fully insulate kids from the adult conflict especially if parties are litigating or embroiled in contentious negotiations.
Reaching an agreement that creates a child–centered parenting plan while reducing the tensions in the parenting relationship is the most critical undertaking parties face when separating or divorcing and is of the greatest benefit for the children in the short and long-term. Resolving parenting issues is often not possible while in the midst of an acrimonious legal battle.
By working with a trained, certified mediator, parents are best able to reach agreements regarding:
- the legal custody;
- parenting time and;
- overall co-parenting of their children.
- Mediation allows for parents to find creative and child-focused solutions, something not usually available in the courtroom.
When decisions involving the parties’ minor children are determined by court imposed ruling or as the result of lengthy and hostile negotiations between attorneys, the parenting relationship is almost always damaged. This usually spills over to the children and negatively impacts them unless there is positive intervention along the way. Mediation can bring about this positive change needed to preserve a healthy parenting relationship going forward.
Modifications of Parenting Plan
In the years after parents have parted ways as a couple, there may be changes in their circumstances that warrant revisiting their initial custody arrangement and parenting plan. Whether there is still conflict in the parents’ relationship or tensions have settled down over the years, working with a trained, certified mediator can facilitate these discussions and help parents make changes to their initial agreement focused on best serving their children’s interests and needs.
“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what live within us.”
– Henry David Thoreau