When you and your spouse aren’t able to agree on every aspect of your divorce, one of the things you may want to consider is going through mediation. Mediation is beneficial because it allows you both to speak about the issues you’re having at the same time as working with a third-party mediator who will give you insight into potential options for resolving your conflicts.
When you have an older child who is part of your child custody arrangements, you may want to consider bringing them to these sessions, but not always. Whether or not they are involved in the child custody discussion will depend on their age and maturity, among other factors.
When might you want to bring your child to mediation?
It may be beneficial to bring your child to a mediation session for their custody schedule if they are in their late teens and would like to have a say about where they go or who they go with. If you and the other parent are at odds and feel that your child is telling you each something different, you may also want to have your child speak with the mediator privately to get a feel for what they would like to do.
Of course, since your child is a minor, they don’t need to be involved in these discussions at all. However, as they get older, it does make sense to give them at least some control over their own situation when it is safe to do so.
Can children make a decisions about their own custody schedule?
Not typically, but it is important that you and the other parent hear what your child has to say. They may have insight into their own schedule or the things they want to do at school next year that you haven’t considered as a part of your parenting plan.
While many parents will leave their children out of mediation sessions, at least getting their opinion can be helpful. If you want to bring your child to a session, it may show them how you and the other parent are trying to work together to come up with the best solution for them.