When parents with children in Texas divorce, things can quickly turn ugly. Not only do they need to divide their property, but they also have to divide time with their children and responsibility for them. Few things make people more emotional than the idea of only seeing their children every other Christmas or birthday.
Parents often have a hard time reaching agreements about issues related to their children in the early stages of divorce. Some couples will turn to mediation to resolve their disagreements. Why would even more face-to-face interactions potentially benefit those divorcing with children?
They can take control of the situation
If couples let their disagreements spiral out of control and litigate in family court, they have absolutely no control over what the judge decides to do. The judge decides the breakdown of both decision-making authority and parenting time. The parents then have a legal obligation to uphold the terms of the custody order. Parents who successfully mediate and set their own terms based on what they know would be best for their children.
They can protect the children from conflict
Research about the social and psychological impact of divorce on children shows that conflict plays a major role in the worst outcomes. Higher-conflict divorces tend to have more significant consequences for children and a family. When parents mediate, they won’t battle it out in court, which can decrease the level of tension in the family. Additionally, the children won’t need to make any official statements about their preferences regarding custody, which can be another source of stress.
They can start rebuilding their relationship
Co-parenting requires regular communication and frequent interactions during custody exchanges. If parents fight through the entire divorce process, they could cause even worse damage to their relationship. Those who go to mediation together have to compromise and work together if they want to succeed. They may also prioritize new communication skills, such as keeping the discussion entirely about the children. For some families, divorce mediation helps parents develop a positive co-parenting relationship. Mediation might even help them heal some of the damage caused as their marriage began to fail.
Utilizing the right tools can lead to a more favorable divorce outcome for those with children and other factors complicating the end of a marriage. Seeking personalized legal guidance can help parents to determine whether mediation is a viable option for their unique circumstances.