It is a natural parental instinct to want to shield children from the consequences of marital strife, including divorce. Unfortunately, traditional divorces can be very emotionally difficult for the children in the family. The more contentious and angry the divorce, the more difficult it can be for the kids.
An expectation to testify regarding their personal preferences can stress them about their parental relationships. Listening to their parents attack one another in arguments during custody exchanges, as well as in court, can also be painful.
For special needs children, so much conflict can be incredibly destabilizing. Special needs children, including children with Down syndrome and those with autism, truly need stability to thrive in daily life.
Without careful consideration on the part of both parents, divorce could be a very damaging experience that causes a host of issues for special needs children. Mediation could be the ideal way to reduce the impact of divorce on your child.
Mediation helps you work out your issues in a private setting
Unlike divorce court, which can be humiliatingly public, mediation is a private affair that occurs behind closed doors. That means that your children won't have to hear anything that goes on during mediation. They also won't have to sit in a judge's office or in the courtroom and give their opinion about where they would prefer to live.
Mediation takes the focus off of "winning" and instead helps you collaborate with each other to set terms that are reasonable and effective for your family. The collaborative process can be a good way for couples ending their marriage to find healthy ways of communicating and interacting. The practice that you have at the mediation table could benefit your children in future important family moments and even custody exchanges.
Mediation lets you control the terms of your divorce and minimize disruption for your child
In custody proceedings, the courts try to make decisions that are in the best interest of the children. Unfortunately, the courts may not really understand those interests, especially in the case of a child with special needs.
You and your spouse are the best advocates for your child, as you understand better than anyone else what they need to feel safe and stable. You can create a parenting arrangement that reflects the unique needs of your children and focuses on their happiness and health. Mediation gives you more control and flexibility for custody, child support and asset division terms.
If you think that mediation could be an option in your divorce, you should discuss this with your Frisco family law attorney when you sit down to strategize for the end of your marriage.