How Can Child Inclusive Mediation Help Smooth Divorce?
Whether a divorce is contentious or amicable, it can be emotionally stressful and complicated when children are involved. They are often left on-edge and afraid to do or say anything that might jeopardize their future or their parents’ happiness. If the children feel they have no say in the decision-making process, even the most well-intended arrangements for custody and visitation can fall short of their objectives.
During child inclusive mediation, children sit down with a trained, independent and impartial mediator, without either parent present. The mediator asks questions and encourages the child to speak openly and honestly about their wants, needs and concerns. Ultimately, the mediator’s goal is to recommend solutions that serve the best interest of the child. These solutions may involve parenting time, custody arrangements and other matters.
A mediator can see each child alone or with their siblings. Unless a child asks the mediator to share what was said during the session, the child’s words remain confidential. Generally, child inclusive mediation may be more productive when the child involved is at least 10 years old. However, if there are younger children in the family, many mediators will work to include them as well.
One of the primary benefits of child inclusive mediation is that it gives children an outlet to speak about how the divorce is affecting them, without worrying about offending or upsetting either parent. By Encouraging children to talk about what matters to them, mediators may help prevent problems down the line.
Child inclusive mediation also allows parents to show that they value their children’s opinions, and that they recognize that the divorce affects the entire family. In the stress of a divorce, parents may forget to recognize the routines and details that are important to their children, from how they get to soccer practice to where they do their homework at night.
Furthermore, choosing to work with a child-focused mediator can help parents understand their children’s perspective and respond to their needs. Providing children with a non-judgmental problem-solver can foster a sense of security in an otherwise uncertain time. The child becomes a respected participant in the divorce, not an unwilling party in a tug of war.
At Solutions Divorce Mediation, we focus exclusively on helping spouses resolve the complicated issues of divorce without the stress and cost of litigation. To learn more about child inclusive mediation, call us at 1.631.683.8172 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. From our office in Melville, New York, we work with clients throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.