Mediation – Is this the best we can do?

Mediation was the perfect solution to reduce the onslaught of litigation that came down to the courthouse.  Most cases were extremely successful in reaching a resolution through this alternate dispute technique.  Court’s and attorney’s have seized on the concept of mediation in family law cases to come end family law disputes.

If you do not teach people how to communicate, you have not resolved a family law dispute, you have only caused a cease fire in the manner that parents engage one another.  For some high conflict parents, cease fire arrangements are needed, but what about for the remainder of the parents involved in the family law disputes?

Mediation is normally done in two separate rooms, the parties talk to their attorney and to the mediator.  The parents do not talk among themselves during a mediation.  Parents reach an agreement and are told to interact and play nice with another after.   We simply are not teaching parents how to communicate with one another.  These communication skills must be taught, and they must be worked on over time if the parents have any chance of peacefully interacting with one another to co-parent their kids.

Why am I harping on this anyway?  Kids are affected when their parents do not now how to communicate and constantly stay in conflict.  Parents inability to communicate and engage in conflict is a major source of why kids suffer after divorce.  WHAT ARE WE DOING to help parent’s learn how to co-parent after divorce..

I would want a client who is motivated to settle and has tried to communicate with the other parent.  I would want my parent to have the ability to do everything they could to resolve as many issues with their ex as they could BEFORE walking into the mediation room.  I want a client who has gone to parent education classes and is trying to sort out as many disputes as they can through the assistance of a parent facilitator/parent coordinator.  Parents who have the skills to communicate will be better able to meet the needs of their kids during and after divorce.   Parents exposed to a parent facilitator/parent coordinator would have an additional resources to resolve their family law dispute.  It should not be attorney first parent second, it should be kids first parents second, right?

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