For generations, Florida parents let the courts decide who would receive custody of the children and who would get visitation rights during a divorce. Under these circumstances, the parents had little reason to get along, even if for the sake of the children. Some couples overcame the situation, but so many others never did, and the parents weren't the ones who suffered the most for it.
These days, parents tend to take a different approach. Research in recent years indicates that children of divorced families fare better when both of their parents remain an active part of their lives. It also shows that how parents act during the divorce proceedings also makes a difference. For this reason and more, many couples are making the conscious decision to work together, and mediation could help.
Mediation offers parents numerous benefits
No one expects two people who recently decided to no longer remain married to act as though they are best friends. Even so, you can reach an impasse in which the two of you accept that your marital relationship is over but your parental relationship never will be. Once you reach this point, you and the other parent may decide mediating your custody issues is the best course of action. Then you can enjoy its benefits, which include the following:
- You retain control over what your family dynamic looks like after your divorce. You and the other parent make the choices, not the court.
- Mediation often costs less than a contentious court battle.
- You and the other parent keep your privacy. Nearly anyone can walk into a courtroom, sit down and listen to some of the most intimate details of your lives.
- Both of you get the chance to express your opinions and offer solutions to your custody issues. In fact, you will probably have the ability to consider options that a court would not -- or perhaps could not -- consider.
- Since you and the other parent constructed the agreement yourselves, the likelihood that you will both adhere to its provisions increases dramatically. You both take ownership of the arrangements you make, so you are more willing to abide by them.
Mediation also tends to reduce the stress that families feel during this time. Moreover, your children will know that both of you want to work together to create a future for them that includes both of their parents. After all, you and your spouse may no longer want to be together, but your children should never have to choose between you.