Divorce is a stressful situation for all involved, but most particularly for children. This is especially so when they see their parents involved in contested litigation. If Mom and Dad are fighting with each other, it is very difficult for a child to show affection toward one parent without feeling that he or she is betraying the other parent.
Various studies have concluded that mediation is a valuable tool to assist parents in identifying their parental responsibilities and focus upon the needs of their children. These studies also indicate that when parents are involved in resolving parenting issues, they are more likely to comply with the agreement then if it is court ordered. Further, it seems clear that children adjust better to divorce when their parents are able to resolve their differences without resorting to litigation.
Mediation allows parents to maintain control over the decisions that affect their children. It also promotes communication and cooperation between parents and reduces hostility. Because mediation is a cooperative endeavor, it expands the range of options for parenting and allows for flexibility in creating a living arrangement that responds to the changing needs of the family.
Finally, it keeps personal and family matters private and minimizes the interference of outsiders such as psychologists, probation investigators, law guardians, lawyers and judges in the life of the family.
When these factors are added to the tremendous financial savings that mediation provides to parents, the benefits of mediation are clear.