Divorce often comes as a nasty surprise to previously happy parents. There may have been a long build-up, but when the reality hits, it hits hard and not only affects the lives of the couple, but also the lives of the children and all extended family members.
Very few parents want anything other than the best for their children, but during the turmoil of a divorce, unfortunately children can have a very traumatic time.
At Grant Stephens Family Law in Cardiff, we recommend to all parents in a non-abusive relationship that they try mediation, rather than taking their divorce straight to the family courts, as we regularly see huge benefits for couples.
Mediation saves money, can be quicker and is completely private. However, above all else, mediation teaches couples to communicate effectively which greatly limits the impact of the divorce on their children.
Although it is possible to go back on your marriage vows, parenting is a union which really is “until death do us part.” Like it or hate it, you are stuck in an unbreakable bond with someone when you have children together.
Going from a married couple to two separate people requires a completely new relationship. During mediation sessions, the mediator will assist couples in forming the new relationship. This won’t happen overnight, but through respectful communication, couples can go from stuck in a loop of arguments, as they cling on to the emotions and experiences of their marriage to effective co-parents.
For this to work, both parents have to accept the finality of the divorce and the end of the marriage. This then gives them space to start the new relationship, which does not have to be friendly, fun or loving, but it does have to be effective and honest.
Mediation is a safe place for this relationship to start. The mediator acts as the guide and provides the tools that couples need to move on as co-parents. The communication skills learned during mediation will then be used by the parents time and time again, as the children grow and situations change. From attending a school show and being civil, to sorting out family holiday plans, to both attending a child’s wedding or grandchild’s christening without any upset or tension.
Mediation can not only solve your divorce, but also ease you into your new lives apart.