Can divorce be good for kids?

Divorce can be a difficult process to begin with, but with the addition of children things become much more complex. Many people are quick to assume that divorce is always bad for children, and this can cause a lot of difficulties.

However, reality says that divorce is sometimes in the best interest of everybody involved, including the children. According to goodtherapy.org, children may be very negatively affected by chronic conflict in the home, even more so than they are by a well-handled divorce.

How can a divorce help children?

In many cases, children who go through divorce can come out of it far more resilient than children who haven’t gone through the process and they tend to be very adaptable to change. Empathy is also likely to be a strong trait in children who have gone through divorce, as they will have managed their own difficult emotions and be able to help others manage theirs.

It is also possible that children will be able to spend more time with each parent, particularly in a household where the mother was a stay-at-home parent and the father worked out of the house. Once both the mother and the father have separate households, the children may end up seeing their father more often than they did in the past.

Is divorce setting a poor precedent for children?

Not necessarily. In many cases, being children of divorce will help your children understand the full commitment that marriage requires. This means that there is a good chance of your children taking it slow when it comes to marriage to avoid the missteps that led to your divorce.

Mediation for a collaborative divorce

Couples who are divorcing but do not want a long, drawn-out battle may want to consider mediation. This method helps couples negotiate their own divorce settlement agreement with the help of a neutral third-party. Mediation is beneficial in that it keeps stress and tension to a minimum, it is cost effective and the process is often much shorter than court litigation. 

While mediation is not the best choice for every couple, Forbes discusses some ways that a couple can be the most successful in the process. First of all, both spouses must agree they want a divorce, or else mediation will not work. Both spouses must also have respect for the other person. Even when dealing with challenging topics or increased tension, treating the other civilly will go far. 

To help keep conversations on track during mediation sessions, it helps if both parties come into negotiations with a shared vision or goal. This may be an equitable split of assets or the best solutions for their children. If a couple is able to communicate and respect each other, mediation is a good choice. 

According to the Ohio State Bar Association, the job of a trained mediator is to guide conversations, discuss creative options and offer conflict-resolution solutions. During mediation, the parties will come to agreements on issues such as asset and debt division, child custody and support, parental responsibilities, spousal support and other financial issues. 

Mediation works best if both parties prepare for each session. This means gathering all relevant financial documents and considering ahead of time what issues are the most important and in which areas compromise is possible.