Divorce takes a heavy toll on every member of the family being dissolved. The adults are probably both dealing with pain, anger, and even feelings of betrayal and failure. The children of the marriage are probably quite scared about the future as well. Divorce can be particularly difficult for children to process, as they may think they are to blame or worry about picking sides.
One of the best ways to help protect your children from the emotional fallout of a messy divorce is to commit to mediation with your former spouse. Mediation, aided by personal divorce attorneys, can be easier than going to court.
Court hearings can be emotionally damaging for kids
No one wants to hear about the absolute worst behavior of their loved ones. Unfortunately, children are often subject to hearing terrible testimony about one or both of their parents during a divorce. In an effort to win custody or receive a more favorable allocation of assets, parents may fight openly in court. Witnessing this directly by being in court can be difficult. It can also be heartbreaking for children to listen to their parents complain about one another during the divorce proceedings.
One of the most difficult stressors can be the expectation for children to testify. They may be asked where they want to live. Children may also be required to substantiate claims of infidelity, abuse, or substance issues. This amount of stress can cause long-term emotional and behavior issues. Choosing mediation ensures that your children will not be forced to testify, pick sides, or listen to the worst about their parents. It is one way to put your children's needs first during a divorce.
Mediation offers compromise instead of arbitration
When you argue a divorce in front of a judge, he or she has the final say about everything, from child custody and support to the division of assets. This means that the end result can be unpredictable, leaving no one satisfied. When you agree to sit down for mediation, you and your former spouse must create mutually beneficial compromises for all of your issues, from possession of your home to visitation on holidays. Mediation ensures that everyone is comfortable with the end decisions and has a chance to express their opinions and wants.
Attorneys can help when emotions run high
Some couples choose to work directly with a mediator, while others choose to each bring their own legal representation when meeting with a mediator. Partnering with an experienced divorce attorney for your mediation discussions helps ensure you are protecting your interests and future.
Your attorney can advocate on your behalf to your spouse's attorney on subjects that create emotional responses. He or she can ensure that your mutual compromise is legally appropriate and in the best interests of everyone involved. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can make moving through mediation much more simple.