It must never be forgotten that children are very often affected worse by divorce than either partner. Having to settle disputes about how much each partner can see children and who they will live with and when can be very difficult and upsetting. They really hate to see their parents disagreeing – and the distress often gets worse the more bitter and vitriolic the parents disputes become. However, under the Children Act the best interests of the children must be top priority – and that is surely right.
Putting children under unreasonable pressure?
One of the worst scenarios is a long, drawn out court battle between parents over the rights to see a child, or to have a child lived with you – especially when the children are a little older and know what’s going on. In fact essential part of the process, that as children grow up, their views are more important – so their views will be taken and they will be listened to. That’s an awful lot of pressure to put on a child at any time, especially when they’re really distressed by the site of their parents’ breakup.
Family mediation takes these decisions out of the hands of the family judge – a third party who, in reality, knows nothing about the character of any of the children involved. The family mediation process. Instead allows parents to decide between themselves how they can best protect the well being of their children following separation. Mediation helps to make divorce proceedings less acrimonious and as a result it can insulate children from tensions involved. Whilst parents will need to make personal sacrifices, mediation enables them to control the outcome for their children in a way that they cannot do through court action, where a judgement is made with no opportunities for negotiation. In contrast to the distress children suffer when they see their parents fight, they can be significantly reassured by seeing their parents co-operate over what’s best for the children.
Remember, whilst you may be divorcing your spouse, that spouse will always remain the children’s parent.
How family mediation can help your children
Fully qualified family mediators will have the experience and skill needed to encourage parents to reach solutions to suit their circumstances and their family. They can also provide information on possible ways to reach an agreement and ensure that negotiations remain cordial throughout. Having the calming influence of an experienced family mediator can help to reach settlements which genuinely promote children’s best interests.
Court proceedings can take a very long time and ultimately it is not fair for children to be unsettled throughout such a long process. Mediation allows parties to reach decisions more quickly and inexpensively. Furthermore, it provides a forum in which both parties can air their grievances and seek to move forward under expert guidance.
Sadly, family mediation is not right for everyone – but for those it does suit, it can make a real and significant difference to the happiness of your children.
Considering Family Mediation? Call us today
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