Perhaps you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage. As parents, a considerable portion of your focus will be on child custody matters.
How can you help your children adjust to your divorce and prepare them for life after?
Mediation versus litigation
If you and your spouse can agree to work together to create a mutually satisfactory settlement agreement, mediation is an effective divorce option. The process takes place outside of court in a more relaxed atmosphere. A mediator, a neutral third party, will guide you and offer ideas for the resolution of sticking points.
You and your spouse will discuss and negotiate major issues such as property division and child custody. As compared with an often contentious divorce in court, mediation can help you avoid unnecessary conflict and anxiety, which is also better for your children.
Your parenting plan
The state of Georgia reminds divorcing parents that “A parenting plan shall be required for permanent custody and modification actions.” The plan should contain details such as where and with whom the children will reside; your parenting schedule; information as to responsibility for making major decisions about the children; planning for visitation during holidays and more. During your mediation sessions, you and your spouse can create a workable parenting plan to submit for the court’s approval.
Communication now and later
Open communication is essential during mediation. Having become accustomed to respectful discussion and negotiation during your divorce, you and the other parent will likely find communication helpful in the next stage of your life. Having chosen a divorce option that is less stressful than litigation for both parents and children, you can use the practices you learn in mediation to help build and maintain post-divorce family relationships.