Divorce mediation is a cooperative collaboration in attempt to settle disputes centered around the dissolution of marriage and child custody. Mediation is guided by the best interests of the child, and promotes the restructuring of family relationships. Mediation is advocated because of its workable, personally satisfying, and individually tailored agreements. In divorce mediation, you control what happens, taking charge of how long the process takes, and the outcome.
The client-centered process alleviates the need for costly legal fees and adversarial litigation regarding child custody. Research supports that mediation clients are more likely to honor their agreements and see mediation as a therapeutic and learning experience. This opportunity fuels cooperative relationships and provides a template for managing future conflict.
As a result of the increasing number of divorces involving children, the incidence of child custody cases is on the rise. The ensuing custody arrangements are vital determinants of children's development and mental health.
The complexity of custody decisions has led to the necessity of involving professionals to assist in making recommendations. Judges increasingly depend upon experts to assist and advise them on custody and visitation decisions, as well as in understanding the multiple psychological issues involved, such as parental fitness, attachment, sibling relationships, developmental needs of the child, and family dynamics. Evaluating the intensity and characteristics of the parent-child relationship is extremely complex.