One of the reasons we focus on mediation in our family law practice is that we feel a strong advocacy for children that are going through the divorce of their parents. This is a devastating loss to a child, but we know that when divorce is done through mediation, the experience of trauma is lessened.
Dr. Emery at the University of Virginia has studied the impact of mediation on children in divorce. He did a 12 year follow up on families that went through their divorce through litigation and through mediation. The families that went through mediation showed that both parents had more communication with their children and the parents view of each other was more positive than those that went through litigation.
The benefits did remain even for those that had started in mediation but needed litigation in the end. The intention to be more amicable in the process had a positive impact on the children. Litigation typically takes longer than mediation. This means that the emotional issues that arise are drawn out and everyone is left feeling like “it will never end.” There can be custody issues that can take years to resolve in court.
Mediation is a choice to do something better for the children. This takes both people, managing their emotions and keeping the bigger picture in mind – making a painful decision with the least amount of trauma for all involved. If you would like to talk more about how mediation can help you, please contact us.