The children in the divorce process are the most important. Depending on their age and where they are developmentally, it’s important for them to know that they are not losing that fundamental core relationship between their parents. The more that the parents can show a united front, the more it affirms the children’s welfare is most important.
The collaborative process and mediation, focus on the parenting plan usually at the beginning of the process, whether it’s with an attorney such as myself or whether it’s with one of the collaborative parenting coaches who I may work with, all are taking the interest and needs of the children at heart. My purpose is wanting to prevent parents in litigating especially over custody where possibly children may be forced to testify or be interviewed by case workers through the courts. This creates a lot of confusion, fear and really a sense of abandonment for many children who are going through that type of process. The collaborative process or the mediation process prevents that type of shock and trauma from occurring to children who are going through this.
How Would You Compare The Impact On Future Relationships Between Ex-Spouses And Co-Parents When The Collaborative Process Or Mediation Is Used Versus Obviously Litigation?
I talked about this in the Kintsugi pottery example but I firmly believe that a couple who commits to the collaborative or mediation process is making a commitment to their future. They’re recognizing that “I’m going to have a long-term relationship with this individual that we’re going to be attending graduations together or we’re going to be attending celebrations together or weddings and we’re going to be communicating together. My schedules are going to be changing, financial circumstances are going to be changing”. The more grounded, thoughtful and compassionate you are for yourself and for the other, it’s going to have a lasting impact on the relationship.
You don’t have to be best friends, but having a sense of decency, courtesy, thoughtfulness towards the other and the other’s interests and needs is critical for the long-term. If you take that approach starting out, there’s a much greater possibility you could stay friends.
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