If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, one of the priorities will be to help your child deal with the stress of the upcoming divorce and adjust to life afterward.
A traditional divorce in court can be hard on children and many divorcing parents prefer mediation. Would this option make the divorce easier on your child?
If you choose this divorce option, you and your spouse will meet with a mediator, a neutral third party, who will help you work toward a divorce settlement agreement that is mutually satisfactory. The mediator will not take sides but will keep the discussions on track and offer possible resolutions for you to consider when sticking points arise. As opposed to the litigation process in which a judge makes decisions that will affect your future and the future of your child, you and your spouse have control over the outcome of your divorce. Mediation is also a faster, less expensive option.
Effects on children
Because it is often a contentious process, litigation is stressful for children. The anger and bitterness between their parents may cause children to experience depression and anxiety. The quality of their schoolwork may also decline.
Benefits to consider
As a less stressful alternative to litigation, mediation is capable of reducing the negative emotional effects of divorce for both you and your child. In this process, the focus is on communication. Once you and your soon-to-be-ex become accustomed to speaking openly and expressing your thoughts, the ability to communicate and work out issues will help you build the foundation for new family relationships. Since your child will not suffer the effects of a high-conflict divorce in court, the post-divorce adjustment period will be easier to manage.