Parents who no longer intend to live with one another often experience intense disagreements about how they should approach their children’s needs. They may disagree about who should have more time with the children and how they will handle decision-making matters, among a host of other pressing issues.
As parents dig their heels in and begin to fight with one another, the entire family will likely suffer from the stress generated by that conflict. Children may worry about needing to take sides, and the parents may allow their negative emotions to impact how they interact with their children. It is, therefore, important to note that for parents who are not yet able to agree on terms for a parenting plan in Illinois, mediation might be one of the best possible tools for resolving their disagreements.
Mediation focuses on compromise
Litigation is an adversarial process that forces people to view one another as opponents. Mediation, on the other hand, is a cooperative process in which people must work together to secure a positive outcome.
Even though parents may have experienced a protracted dispute about custody previously, adjusting their perspective on the matter and seeking to work together could result in the parents finally reaching an agreement. Additionally, their efforts to cooperate will lay the groundwork for a healthier and more positive co-parenting relationship in the future.
Mediation is private
What parents say about one another in family court becomes part of the public record and is sometimes said in the presence of the children. What parents discuss in mediation is usually confidential and does not need to involve the children at all. Not only will the children not have to overhear testimony in court, but there will be no obligation for them to state their personal preferences. That can take a lot of pressure off of older children.
When parents commit to attempting to mediate their disagreements rather than digging in their heels to battle in family court, they can not only start rebuilding their relationship with one another, but they can reduce how difficult the divorce proceedings end up being for the children.
Considering every option for resolving child custody disputes, including divorce mediation, can help families to successfully navigate the complexities of their changing circumstances with dignity. Speaking with a compassionate legal professional is a good first step forward.