CUSTODY AND DIVORCE - WHY MEDIATION IS BETTER

CHILDREN, DIVORCE, PARENTING, CUSTODY
MEDIATION HELPS KEEP PARENTS AND CHILDREN IN CONTACT

In a 12-year long study of the effects of divorce mediation outcomes involving a high conflict group - families who had filed for contested custody hearing, it was proved that those families who chose mediation had better results than those who stayed in the adversarial process.

MEDIATION KEPT MOST FAMILIES OUT OF COURT

  • More than 80% of mediated divorce participants stayed out of court.

  • Only 25% of adversarial participants stayed out of court - 75% appeared before a judge.

  • In the case where mediation was not entirely successful, parents tended to settle out of court, rather than rely on a judge to dictate their outcome.

WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?

  • Mediation typically resulted in the nonresident parent seeing his/her children much more often – as long as 12 years post divorce. This is a much better outcome for everyone.

  • Fully 52% of nonresident parents who mediated talked with their children weekly 12 years post divorce, compared with 14% of nonresident parents who went to court.

  • Again, this is a better, healthier outcome for everyone.

  • Residential parents who mediated gave nonresidential parents better “grades. In every area of parenting.

5 HOURS OF MEDIATION RESULTED IN BETTER OUTCOMES. WHY?

  • The study concluded that the alternative to mediation is “disruptive.” It is not that “the decisions reached (they were the same), but the process” of mediation that caused the difference. Mediation helps parents to “have a voice; take the long view; work together; learn about children’s needs and co-parenting; and, recognize their own grief and how it causes anger.”

MEDIATION – DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT WITH YOUR EMOTIONS

  • The usual way to end a relationship is to say, “I never want to see you again?”

  • Anger serves many functions following a loss including covering up hurt, grief, and pain.

  • Mediation (and other forms of cooperative divorce) asks parents to do something different – for their kids’ sake.

  • This can make breaking up emotionally harder for parents who may feel more ambivalence and acute pain, BUT working together for your children is the right thing and it does work.

From a study by Rober E. Emery, Ph. D., et al, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.


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