Couples with young children typically have more challenging and intense divorces than those who only have to worry about property division matters. In Texas, parents generally have an obligation to their children that they will have to continue fulfilling until the kids are adults even if they divorce.
Parents may find it difficult to establish a custody arrangement that works for their family and might also disagree about how much child support one parent should pay to help maintain a decent standard of living for the children. Trying to settle those parenting-related matters can sometimes lead to litigation, but families may also be able to resolve their disagreements cooperatively if they mediate their divorce disagreements.
Why do parents with minor children, in particular, often benefit from mediated divorce?
The children won’t have to witness anything or testify
Needing to speak to a judge or to the courts in general about custody preferences or family circumstances can be intensely stressful for children. Although judges won’t compel a child to take sides, a child over the age of 12 could make their preferences known, which can be stressful for the child. Anything that the children might overhear in court could alter their relationship with their parents and potentially affect their self-esteem as well. When parents resolve all of their disagreements about the divorce process in mediation, they eliminate the need for litigation and therefore the possibility of the children’s involvement in the divorce process.
The parents can relearn cooperation
Divorce often marks the culmination of a downturn in the relationship between parents. However, they will have to continue working with one another for many years for the sake of their children. The focus on cooperation during the mediation process could help parents start working together again and might lead to a healthier and more effective co-parenting relationship for them after the divorce.
As a final note, it is very beneficial for those with children to retain complete control over the terms of their custody arrangements, which is theoretically possible if parents reach an agreement during mediation and can avoid litigating their divorce in the Texas family courts. Considering mediation as a way of resolving family law disagreements with the assistance of professional legal guidance could help those who are hoping to reduce the stress and conflict traditionally associated with Texas divorce proceedings.