Two women brought a baby to King Solomon, each claiming the child was theirs. Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other.” Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.”
If you are divorcing, often your greatest fear is that your children will feel split between the two of you; divided in their loyalties and torn apart by the divorce. Mediation helps parents prevent this.
Most couples come to mediation furious, feeling they agree on very little. But we’ve found that couples find common ground when we ask: “Do you love your children?”
In mediation, you and your spouse focus on the love and concern you have for your children to work out a parenting plan that is good for your kids and helps you co-parent even though you’re no longer together as husband and wife.
Court custody battles force you to “split” the baby. Imagine a judge who has known your family for less than a day deciding your parenting schedule: who gets custody, who gets to see the kids weekends, holidays and vacations. And the worst part is that when your children see you fighting over them, they tend to blame themselves and feel responsible for the acrimony.
The mediator helps you and your spouse develop a parenting plan. The plan can take into account everyone’s needs, including the parents, who are often juggling complicated lives. For instance, a mediated parenting plan might make allowances for the fact that one parent works nights or goes to school.
The parenting plan focuses on the unique needs of your children. Traditionally courts have split the holidays, e.g. mom gets Christmas during even-numbered years and dad gets the holiday odd-numbered years. But even couples that don’t get along have told us they would never prevent their children Moncler outlet from seeing them both Christmas Day. One fighting couple was willing to borrow a car and drive hours to make this happen. Two other parents told us: “We want to bring our best selves to our parenting plan.” For them that meant every detail, such as making sure dad saw the daughters Wednesday nights because he was their field hockey coach.
Mediation encourages parents to think outside the box for custody solutions. Some parents agree to always live within walking or driving distance. One couple agreed to live in the same apartment building, as long as there was at least fifteen floors between them.
Mediation encourages experimenting. Parents don’t always know which custody arrangement works best until they’ve had the chance to try different ones. One couple thought nesting (the parents move out and the children stay in one place) would work well, until they tried it. In mediation, nothing is set in stone until both parents feel they have a parenting plan that works for the whole family.
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