Divorcing is hard on everyone involved, but it is most difficult on your child. When spouses divorce and minor children are part of the marriage, it is very important for the focus to always remain on what is in that their best interest. Parents who focus on what is best for them, what they want, or getting revenge/being spiteful, rather than the best interest of the children, can traumatize their kids even more in divorce.
In divorce mediation, spouses need to resolve which parent the children will live with primarily and how often they will visit the other parent. When one parent moves out of the home, leaving their kids behind can be very difficult. The parent may want the children to live with them because they will miss them and can’t bear being separated. Unfortunately, when a marriage is over there is no way that both parents can see their children 100% of the time anymore. Although it will be hard to discuss, there are a few ways to make sure you are keeping your child’s best interest in mind when going through mediation.
In this issue, I’ll talk about how to keep the keep the focus on the children’s’ best interests during divorce mediation.
Ask yourself why you truly want something?
When thinking about dividing up assets, property, money, and time-sharing with your children, it’s easy to get caught up in wanting more than your spouse. I also suggest that each parent always ask them self: “why do I truly want what I want?” If the reason is primarily so that your spouse can’t have “it,” then you are not focusing on your child’s best interests. If he reason is mainly so that your child will want to be with you more than his/her other parent, then you are not focusing on your child’s best interests.
Always be mindful if what you are seeking is truly what’s best for your child – not you.
Ask yourself if your child is really benefiting?
When deciding on your Parenting Plan and making decisions about where your child will live, what school they will go to, when they will be visiting the other parent, ask yourself if your son/daughter will truly benefit? Often times when I work with couples, decision-making focuses on what the parent wants or needs. It’s easy to divorcing parents to get so caught up emotionally in their divorce that they tend to make decisions without really thinking about the child. In every decision concerning a minor child, the parents should be every decision on what’s in the best interests of the child. For example, will it benefit your child if the parent that the child will live with does not have a car? Lives in a one-bedroom apartment? Ask yourself if the child is benefiting from the school or medical choices being made?
Always be mindful that the child’s needs are paramount – not the parents.
Ask yourself if your child is hearing kind words about the other parent.
Mindfulness is essential to communication. Always keep your child in the back of your thoughts when communicating with your spouse. When speaking to your spouse, speak to them the way you would if your child was present. You should always be respectful, even when you are emotional.
Mindfulness with also help you to stay level headed, have good focus, and remain calm.
Always be mindful that the child loves both parents.
Ask yourself if you are being open to negotiation.
You and your spouse once made a talented team. You need to be open to negotiating and making decisions about your child’s future together. Many couples benefit from family counseling after or during a divorce. Realizing you will need to compromise is the first step to negotiating.
Always be mindful that the goal is not revenge or pain – but peace for your child and family.
Ask yourself if you are listing to your son’s/daughter’s needs and desires.
If your son or daughter is old enough to express their desire, take that into consideration. Young children do not always know what is best for them. As they get older, they know what they want and will tell you. Take their wants and needs into consideration when you are making decisions that will be permanent.
Always be mindful that your children have needs and wants and feelings.
Here at PeacefulSplit® Mediation, our sole mission is to guide, comfort, and assist you and your spouse or partner so that you can obtain a peaceful divorce. Most importantly, we never judge you based upon your values, beliefs, culture or sexual orientation.
If you and your spouse are ready for a PeacefulSplit® Mediation, or are just contemplating divorce, I am here to help by answering all of your questions and explaining to the both of you the benefits of a PeacefulSplit® Mediation. Sometimes both parties are on the same page, and often they are not. I am available to help you under either scenario.
If you are ready to divorce, want to avoid a financially and emotionally draining legal battle, and desire an economical “PeacefulSplit® Mediation” or just want more information about the divorce mediation process, then Attorney and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, Eric B. Epstein, Esq., is ready to assist you. I can be reached at 954-272-8292.