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Should you include your children in divorce mediation?

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2021 | Child Custody

Divorce mediation is a process that can help you and your spouse move forward with your divorce in a most positive, cooperative way. Mediation is designed to help you work through issues together so that neither of you is “fighting” in court to get your way.

Trials can be costly, and they tend to be intimidating to people who haven’t been involved in them before. Mediation is a cost-effective process that may help keep you out of the courtroom.

Custody issues in mediation

It can be an excellent option to have mediation sessions that address custody concerns in divorce. You may wonder if your children should be involved, and that largely comes down to how mature your children are and the topics that you’ll be discussing.

For example, if you have two teens who are 15 and 17, you may want to include them in the mediation session. Why? They’re old enough to have preferences and may have requests of their own that would make custody schedules easier for them. Teens often know their schedules well and will be able to provide more insight on how they’re feeling.

Including younger children is often unnecessary. Kids who are in elementary school, for example, may do better having guidance from two parents who have settled on a custody schedule that works for them. They may not have a good grasp of their own schedules or how their schooling or hobbies fit into their parents’ days.

Should you bring your children to a mediation session?

If you aren’t sure if you should bring your kids to a custody mediation session, it’s worth talking to the mediator first to get their opinion. If you believe that your children have something valuable to say that may help you work out a better custody schedule, then you may want to bring them along. If you do, you and your spouse should set rules before you begin and take steps to prevent any conflicts or arguments during the discussion.

Mediation can be a good solution for many divorcing couples. Adding your children to the session could be warranted under some circumstances.