Co-parenting After Divorce: How a Mediator Can Help

You and your former spouse ended your marriage on bad terms. Things were said and done that can’t be taken back. Your divorce devolved into a bitter, drawn-out battle. Now that it’s finally over, you wish you could cut your former spouse out of your life completely – and start afresh with a clean slate.

Unfortunately, your case can’t be that cut and dried. You and your former spouse have young children together, so like it or not, you and your co-parent are in this for the long haul. If the prospect of cooperating with your former spouse to sort out day-to-day parenting decisions sounds next to impossible, there is some good news. A mediator can help high-conflict former spouse to co-parent effectively.

Details the divorce settlement doesn’t cover

In a divorce settlement, the major points of interest affecting parents and children are settled. You know how much time you and your co-parent will spend with your children each week. Child support payments are fixed. However, it’s those smaller, day-to-day co-parenting decisions that often lead to conflict.

Maybe your former spouse thinks your son should sign up for the football team, but you’re worried it’s too dangerous. It could be that you and your former spouse have different views on vaccination. Or perhaps your ex regularly drops your kids off at your house late – which in turn makes you late for work. All of these circumstances can create unwanted stress during a time when you’re trying to establish normalcy in your family.

The role of a mediator

In such situations, a mediator can provide some much-needed support. A mediator is a neutral third party whose role is to help you and your former spouse come to agreements on how you’ll co-parent your children.

In some cases, a mediator may sit down with the two of you to facilitate dialogue and conflict resolution. If your relationship with your former spouse is especially strained, being together in the same room may not be the most productive option. In such cases, a mediator can meet with both of you individually to discuss your mediation goals and serve as a liaison to help you and your former spouse find common points of agreement.

Co-parenting following a turbulent divorce can seem like a nightmare. If you’re faced with the insurmountable task of co-parenting with a person you want nothing to do with, a mediator can be an invaluable resource.

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