Perhaps you did your homework regarding how to limit the impact of your divorce on your children. After all, it isn’t their fault you and your spouse are going your separate ways, and they shouldn’t suffer anymore than necessary as your family enters a new stage of life.
You mostly likely discovered that avoiding a courtroom custody battle is one way to help your children get through the divorce process since it lessens the stress on the whole family. Now, you need to figure out whether creating your own parenting plan is feasible in your situation.
You may need just a little help
You and your ex may agree to remain out of the adversarial process, especially when it comes to your children, but you have trouble with sitting down together alone. In that case, you could get the boost of help you need by engaging in mediation. Even though you know that it would still be less expensive than going to court, it may still concern you that it is an added expense. You may need to better understand the benefits of mediation to help you make your final decision:
- You focus on the future instead of the past.
- Mediation removes the “blame game,” which allows you to focus on the children instead of each other.
- You reduce your stress, which reduces your children’s stress.
- Mediation fosters cooperation and compromise.
- You and the other parent may learn better communication techniques.
- You could lay a foundation for your future co-parenting relationship.
- You retain control over the final product.
When looked at in a positive light, your parenting plan may give you an advantage over married parents. Children don’t come with an instruction manual, so many parents play it by ear and hope for the best. In a divorce, creating a parenting plan actually helps you create an instruction manual of sorts since you include things such as house rules, schedules, disciplinary methods and a method for resolving disputes or confrontations.
Knowing the above, you may now be ready to decide to participate in mediation in order to create your parenting plan. However, the mediator does not represent either you or the other parent. You may want to engage your own attorney to help protect your rights throughout the process and advise you on the legalities of any decisions you are contemplating making.