Your young children rely on you to care for their physical and emotional needs. Even when you and your spouse go through a divorce, what your children require does not change. What does change is how you and your co-parent will meet your children’s needs.
Your children’s emotional needs are as important as their physical care, yet it can be easy for you and your spouse to neglect these during the divorce process as you focus more on what you want to accomplish. Alternatives to traditional litigation, such as divorce mediation, can help you to meet your children’s emotional and physical needs during, as well as after, the divorce.
What children need emotionally
Ultimately, what your children need and deserve most is to have a childhood. Kids can be kids only when parents act like parents. In other words, when you and your spouse cooperate to serve your children’s interests and fulfill your parental requirements, you allow your children to have a childhood.
Your children need at least one parent whom they can rely on, but it is better for them if they have two parents who remain actively involved to support and encourage them. Children also need protection from conflict between their parents. If you and your ex-spouse trap them in the middle, it can be emotionally damaging to your children, as well as to your relationship with them.
How mediation helps
The purpose of divorce mediation is to make the process less adversarial than traditional litigation. The goal is to encourage communication and compromise. When you and your spouse cooperate to work out your difficulties on your own, it helps to decrease hostility between the two of you, which makes it easier to protect your children from conflict.
When you and your spouse are willing to work together for your children’s benefit, it is easier to create a system in which both of you can take an active role in your children’s lives. In these ways, mediation helps you to act like parents, which allows your kids to be kids.