Going through a divorce in New Jersey doesn’t have to be a protracted, damaging experience for you or your children. If you and your spouse can agree to work together, mediation may be an ideal solution for handling the end of your marriage. If you both agree that your marriage is over but you can’t agree about the terms for child custody or asset division, mediation could offer a path to resolution.
Mediation involves each spouse (and their individual attorneys) meeting with a neutral third party who serves as mediator. The spouses then work to find compromises to the terms of their divorce that work for everyone involved. This allows for an uncontested divorce where both spouses have more control over the end results. It can also help shield your children from the pains of divorce court.
Testifying in custody battles can damage children
Although speaking up in court can be empowering in some cases, that often isn’t the case for children at the center of child custody battles between their parents. It is natural for children to love both of their parents and to want to continue a relationship with both of them after a divorce. Being forced to choose where they would rather live in a public setting could be a source of great anxiety.
Children may worry about damaging the relationship with their other parent. They may also have anxiety in general about speaking up during the divorce. The result of all that stress could be depression, anger or other emotional issues that persist for weeks or longer. You can protect your child from this unnecessary stress by agreeing to mediate the terms of your custody agreement.
Custody arrangement aren’t usually all or nothing
Except in cases of abuse or addiction issues, most custody situations result in shared custody. No matter how hard the parents fight for full custody against one another, the court usually finds that shared custody is in the best interests of the children. The end result is still shared custody, but now with increased bitterness and acrimony between the parents as the result of the court battle.
Knowing that you will likely share custody in one way or another can help make the controlled compromise of mediation more appealing to some. At the very least, choosing mediation means having the power to make the final decisions and ensure that your most important concerns end up properly addressed.
Mediation can also help you and your spouse develop a healthier way to interact. Divorce can often leave separating spouses squabbling. Mediation can help you find better ways to speak with each other and even provide common ground as a foundation for a positive future co-parenting relationship.