The ABC’s of Mediation – Part III: The Children

Attorney and Family and Divorce Mediator, Rosalyn A. Metzger, concludes her three-part article on the Mediation process with a discussion on how child-related issues can benefit from the process. To read the first two articles, see “The ABC’s of Mediation – Part I: The Process” and “The ABC’s of Mediation – Part II: Financial Issues.”

Mediating Parenting Time and Related Issues

Mediation of Child Issues - photo of young boy dressed in jeans and striped shirt holding hands with mother and father is following behindOne hot-button issue in divorce is often the children. Some people get stuck on “50-50” parenting time. However, you are well advised to consider all of the circumstances when trying to sort out the best parenting plan for your family. While New Jersey links child support to the amount of time the children share with each parent, in mediation you can separate those two issues so that money is not the guiding factor.

Do you work? Does your spouse or partner work? Is the work close by or far away? Do either of you attend school? Do either of you travel for work? What are the ages of your children? All of these are relevant issues to be considered when working out how you will each access the children.

The holidays often present difficulties of their own. It is not easy to be apart from your children on special days as a result of a divorce or separation. However, it is up to you to take the high road and put the children first as much as possible. Can one of you take Christmas Eve, the other Christmas Day, and alternate every other year? Can one of you take the first night of Passover and the other the second, and alternate every other year?

There are so many ways to put the children first and mediation allows you to do that with a great deal of thought, consideration and compassion, not just for your children but also for your former spouse or partner. They are hurting, too. The beauty of mediation is that it allows you to work through these issues with guidance, including from a therapist, during the process if need be.

I encourage you to consider mediation to resolve all of your disputes, whether divorce or other family issues, such as estate litigation.

I trust that this article series gave you a basic understanding of how mediation works. Call me [(908) 534-7900] – I would be happy to work with you!