The New Year is a time of new beginnings so if your co-parenting agreement isn’t quite working this may just be the perfect opportunity in which to revisit it. The question is, what will be the most effective (and least headache-inducing) way to do so? We’re guessing it’s not simply calling your ex to discuss or you wouldn’t be reading this. But there is an approach in which you can address issues with your co-parenting agreement in a non-confrontational and constructive manner: mediation. Here’s how mediation can help.
The Mediation Process
In general, mediation is a process in which you and your ex enlist a neutral third party to help you resolve issues, for example what’s not working in your co-parenting agreement. It can be a welcome alternative to getting your lawyers involved and litigating the situation in court as long as you are both willing to negotiate towards an amicable agreement.
It’s important to note that the mediator won’t be resolving the issues for you, rather their role is to use communication and negotiation techniques that guide the mediation process constructively as you work toward a solution. What’s more, mediation is confidential unlike court litigation.
Benefits of Mediating Co-Parenting Agreements
Now for what you really want to know; the benefits of using mediation to improve your co-parenting agreement are many, and include:
- Less Stress for the Kids – A co-parenting agreement that’s not working may already be causing undue stress for the kids, but if the issues are also causing additional arguments between you and your ex that negatively impacts the kids even more. However, seeing you both work together to resolve the issues in a respectful way can ease that stress and anxiety (and set a great example!).
- More Objectivity – If you and your ex are hashing this out alone or going through an adversarial litigation process, it’s more likely to bring up all those old hurts and emotions again which can distract from the task at hand. In mediation, the process is designed to be collaborative, focused and objective. An experienced mediator will not only keep you on task, but help you to understand the implications and practicality of the solutions you’re considering so you’re not swayed by emotion.
- More Likely to Stick – It’s just simple human nature that people are more likely to stick to and follow through on agreements they’ve had a hand in creating which very much holds true when it comes to co-parenting agreements. Key in on the word ‘agreement’ as that’s what’s going to make this work, not dictating how you (or our ex) thinks things should be. That said, once mediation is complete you can still file your new co-parenting agreement with the court to make it official (with the help of your lawyer).
- More Efficient – Not only can mediation be a more effective way to revisit your co-parenting agreement, it can also be more efficient by streamlining the process which can save you time and money in avoiding multiple court dates and legal fees. What’s more, online mediation services like ours can make the process even more efficient, and dare we say comfortable, because you can take care of it all from home – in your pjs with your favorite beverage, but of course that’s up to you!
How can we help with your co-parenting agreement in the New Year? Learn more about Mediated Online Solutions services by contacting our experienced team today!