Is Including Your Children in Your Divorce Mediation Smart?

Divorce mediation is fundamentally about you and your ex working together to make decisions. However, if you have children, you can also question whether they should be part of the process. Consider the following factors to assess whether or not this is a good idea. 

What is their age? 

Many kids are too young to be concerned with difficult divorce-related issues. And in a legal setting, until a child is of a respectable age and maturity, courts often do not even consider a child’s choice as a thing influencing custody problems. This is typically around the age of 14. 

How your child makes decisions and whether they comprehend those actions’ consequences depends on their age (and level of development).

Youngsters who do not want to feel like they’re from the middle may find mediation stressful because it provides them with a safe environment where they can express themselves, discuss household dynamics, and discuss their feelings. 

You can ask your lawyer, your child’s doctor, a counselor, or the website for advice if you’re unclear about what to do. 

What problems do you have to deal with? 

No matter their age or maturity, you will discuss several issues during mediation, and not all of them need to involve kids. 

A child’s perspective and judgment can frequently be helpful in decisions regarding parental behavior, visitation and custody arrangements, and the causes of a divorce. Having a youngster participate in mediation outside these circumstances may be more detrimental than beneficial. While many children are unaware of how legal situations work, knowing their opinion can help in multiple ways. Additionally, their views and opinions, needs and wants, etc., can affect mediation’s outcome. 

What kind of relationship do you have with your ex-partner? 

Whether or not your child should and wants to participate in mediation can depend on the connection between the parents. For instance, if you and your partner are cordial, agreeable, and able to communicate respectfully, there might not be much need for or benefit from having your child participate since you are both probably making thoughtful choices that put your child’s interests first. 

It might be a different scenario if you and the other parent fight, involve your child in disagreements, or make them feel like they do not have a say. Communicating with the mediator in these situations helps reassure your child that someone is paying attention to them and that their feelings count. 

You must consider these factors and what is best for your child when deciding whether to participate in mediation because every case and family is different. The best way to decide whether you want to include your child in the mediation process is to talk it out with your partner. 

Whether you have a good or bad relationship with your partner, it is best to consider your child’s best interests when making decisions. Ask your partner politely about what they think about including your children in divorce mediation. If they are opposed to the idea, it will help if you try to understand their point of view instead of getting angry and making the situation worse.

You may also want to present your opinion to your partner politely for them to understand where you are coming from and note whether the decision to include your child in the divorce mediation will benefit you both. 

Speak to a divorce lawyer!

When you are unsure about your decisions, it is better to speak to someone who has legal knowledge about the process. Consult a divorce lawyer who can guide you through the process and help you know what to do ahead. 

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