A mediated divorce offers families invaluable benefits. In most situations, mediation allows couples to part ways more peacefully than through a traditional divorce. It also empowers parents to reach custody and parenting time decisions that promote healthy parent-child bonds.
Young children and toddlers aren’t usually interested in divorce proceedings, but older kids and teens may be curious and want to participate. Those who are unsure if this is wise can gain more clarity with a few careful considerations.
Are they mature enough?
In Michigan, children of appropriate age and maturity may have a say in custody arrangements. Look at your kids objectively to determine if they are mature enough to attend a mediation session. Encouraging participation in very young children may not be wise.
Are they suffering from divorce distress?
If your kids are not coping well with your divorce, make sure they can handle the stress of a mediation session. Ask your mediator for guidance or seek the opinion of a mental health professional if you suspect your children are struggling to cope.
What is an alternative to direct participation?
You can use technology to involve your kids in your mediation sessions without bringing them along. For example, you could have your children record their thoughts and preferences and show them to the mediator on their behalf.
What are the benefits of input from children?
Knowing how your kids feel about child custody can guide you in making choices and compromises that make everyone as happy as possible. Divorce mediation empowers families to express their custody preferences in a peaceful environment that promotes discussion and cooperation—not arguments.