New Jersey Divorce and Family Law Mediators Explain Children in Mediation
A New Jersey Divorce Mediation Team Dedicated to Families
Questions of child custody often give rise to the most polarizing debates of the divorce process, creating friction that can be felt and experienced by the innocent children involved. When child custody is viewed as a zero-sum game, parents are often encouraged to take an adversarial approach to one another, creating an environment in which one parent needs to prove their superiority in order to “win.” This archaic approach to child custody during divorce stands in stark contrast to the “best interests of the child” standard that is often discussed. In fact, instead of being the priority, the children become collateral damage. Fortunately, with the advent of new parenting configurations and relationship decisions such as “conscious uncoupling,” parents can now collaborate with one another to move forward as a functional, albeit reconfigured, unit. The mediation process provides an ideal vehicle through which to achieve a positive, coordinated parenting plan that best serves the needs of the entire family.
Children in Divorce and Family Law Mediation
It is well-documented that children who are the product of contentious divorces may face additional challenges. The emotional toll of a messy divorce affects far more than the divorcing couple, extending to the children who often feel caught in the middle and forced to take sides. Creating a “battle mentality” with assaults and allegiances on both sides is never a positive experience for any of the parties involved. However, the combat of child custody is often a product of litigated divorce. Conversely, mediation facilitates a collaborative “team” approach to parenting decisions, allowing both parties to explain their perspectives, their concerns, and their goals for their child’s future. Then, the two work together to develop a holistic parenting plan that positions the family for a more successful future. The mediator encourages communication during the process, ensuring that both parties feel heard and understood.
Not only does the process of traditional litigation encourage adversarial engagement, but it takes the power out of the parents’ hands. When appearing in court, the ultimate determination as to the best interests of the child is left to of a stranger, a judge who has no personal insight into the unique personality or needs of the child. On the other hand, mediation allows those who know the child best to discuss all of the potential configurations that may serve his or her needs. Making decisions with regard to issues such as child custody, visitation, parenting time, and child support can be daunting, but with a mutual commitment to achieving resolution and the help of a mediator who can present potential solutions and investigate all available options, these determinations can be infinitely less taxing emotionally and financially.
When addressing child custody and visitation issues during divorce mediation, the possibilities are endless, limited only by the creativity of the parties and their mutual willingness to compromise. The benefits of this non-contentious process are manifold, providing parents with the opportunity to protect children from the negative effects of divorce disputes and setting the stage for a positive co-parenting relationship moving forward. Striking a delicate balance in your plan for parenting and beginning to work together while apart can provide you and your spouse with a foundation for the future, allowing you to make necessary changes as life evolves. Your children, in turn, can feel secure during the transition to a new normal.
Meet our New Jersey Child Custody Mediation Attorneys
The skilled child custody mediation attorneys at Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark assist clients across New Jersey with resolving child custody issues in a myriad of divorce and family law matters. Our thorough understanding of the legal components of child custody cases is matched by a deep sense of compassion and responsibility for our clients’ needs in these difficult situations. With a practice dedicated solely to divorce and family law, our team includes state-appointed Guardians Ad Litem who protect the interests of minors during matrimonial litigation, court-appointed child advocates for organizations such as CASA, and attorneys who work with the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) in Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Morris Counties. When assisting you with a complicated child custody matter, our approach combines the authority of legal experience and the unique insight gained through consistent work with children and their parents. We understand the sensitive nature of these matters, as well as their significance for your child’s future. For answers to your questions and a free consultation, contact our offices in Hackensack, Bergen County at 201-897-6670 or Morristown, Morris County at 973-975-0476.