If you have children, you probably did everything you could to insulate them from the problems in your marriage. Now that you have decided to divorce, you know you can no longer keep them from the changes coming to your family.
You and the other parent may agree to do what you can to make the process as unobtrusive as possible for your children. In making that choice, you probably also agree that creating your own custody agreement and parenting plan would best fulfill that wish. However, you may not know how to proceed without risking your negotiations degrading into a conflict that could land you in front of a judge.
Have you considered mediation?
When you fear that you won't get along well enough to come to an arrangement on your own, you might enlist some help. Other Kentucky parents have used mediation to help them resolve their custody issues without having to go to court. Consider the following advantages of this alternative dispute resolution method:
- The focus of the process remains on the future, not the past.
- Blame has no place in the process since you agree to work together as parents, not a soon-to-be divorced couple.
- The process works to resolve any confrontations that arise instead of feeding them, as the traditional adversarial process has a tendency to do.
- Since you and the other parent learn to communicate better through this process, you also learn how to resolve conflicts or avoid them all together.
- Mediation could reduce your stress level, which, in turn, makes it less stressful on your children as well.
- In fact, your children could come to realize how much the two of you love them since you are willing to put aside your feelings for each other in order to do what's best for them.
- Mediation often costs less than going to court, which removes yet another stressor from the divorce.
- Most parents adhere to the agreements made in mediation better since they retain ownership in the outcome.
Retaining control over your future and the future of your family could help you move on as well. Perhaps most importantly, you and the other parent receive the opportunity to build the foundation of how your co-parenting will work after the divorce. Taking advantage of every resource at your disposal in order to reach an agreement that protects your children and your rights at the same time only makes sense.