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  • Alan Jacobs

Are mediated divorces better for children than litigated divorces?

While every situation is different, mediated divorces are generally better for the children involved than if the divorce goes through litigation.

Mediated divorces provide an opportunity for the parents of a child to come up with parenting plans that are uniquely suited for the child’s well-being and for the ability and resources of each parent. These are often far better suited for the child’s needs than those that are determined by a divorce court judge, who only sees the dynamics of your family from an outsider’s perspective, and only for a short period of time.

Perhaps more importantly, though, mediated divorces avoid much of the adversarial nature that is the hallmark of a litigated divorce. The kind of conflict that often comes during litigation frequently leads to stress and tension in the personal lives of the spouses who are separating, and this has a negative impact on the children in the family. Even worse, many litigated divorces involve children being called on to provide testimony through court-appointed investigators such as Guardian ad Litems. Even if it does not occur in open court, a child’s testimony can have a great deal of influence on issues surrounding child custody and child support and children, even young ones, apprehend the seriousness of the situation, which can be incredibly stressful for them.

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