Divorce Mediation

Divorce Mediation Makes Better Parents

by Petra Maxwell on November 8, 2010

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Mediating your divorce or custody case not only benefits you emotionally and financially today, it creates a better future for you and your children. A twelve-year study conducted by Dr. Robert E. Emory and published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, followed families who mediated and families who didn’t. It found that nonresidential parents who mediated had more in-person contact with their kids in the long run and more telephone contact.  28% of nonresidential parents who mediated had weekly contact with their kids twelve years after the divorce, compared to only 9% of parents who went to court.

Mediation seems to make noncustodial parents better parents—or at least helps the custodial parents think they are. The custodial parents in the study rated the noncustodial parents significantly higher in every parenting area, including discipline, religious and moral training, discussing problems, and handling significant events in the child’s life. Not only did the nonresidential parents have better relationships with their kids, but they were viewed as better parents by their co-parenting partners than parents who did not mediate.

Mediators know that the mediation process helps parents develop better problem solving skills, it teaches them how to work through conflict, and it helps parents realize that the children’s needs are really the most important thing. Mediation, in essence, is life skills training because it helps parents learn how to think about their family, their relationship with each other, and their own behavior as they move forward to create new post-divorce lives.

If you’re mediating your divorce or custody situation, take advantage of the mediation process as you begin to think through how you’d like to reframe your parenting relationship as well as your new relationship with your former partner.  You may want to ask yourselves these questions:

  • How do I want the other parent to think about me in the coming years?
  • How involved do I want to be in my child’s life?
  • What level of involvement by the other parent would benefit our child?
  • How do I want the other parent to treat me in the coming years? How can I treat him/her so that we both live up to that standard?
  • What rules can we set up for ourselves that will encourage cooperative parenting?

Mediation will help you resolve your issues and reframe your parenting relationship in a way that will allow you to stay actively involved in your child’s life, and co-parent together in a way that is healthy and productive for everyone involved.

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Divorce Insurance?? Let’s Do the Math….

by Petra Maxwell on November 4, 2010

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A company called WedLock now offers divorce insurance. That’s right, divorce insurance. If you divorce after a thirty-six month waiting period, the policy pays you a benefit, meant to cover the cost of your divorce.  What’s next, a divorce app?

Let’s look at the cost of this new concept.  A policy is not cheap. Every $1250 of coverage costs $16 per month. The average litigated divorce costs upwards of $30,000. A $30,000 benefit would run you $384 a month – and is probably close to what you pay for your car payment. Is it even cost effective? At a yearly rate of $4608, eight years of marriage (the median point length of marriages that experience divorce) this $30,000 benefit will actually cost you $36,864 in premiums. More than a divorce itself and much, much more than a mediated divorce would cost.

Money concerns aside, is divorce insurance any different than a prenup? To some couples it might be. A prenup is something you do once, while thinking, “we’ll never need this, but just in case….” Divorce insurance is something you have to pay every month and keep in force, so it keeps the possibility of divorce as an active thought in your mind. Each month you have to mentally reevaluate if you might need the policy and if you ask yourself something like that often enough, the answer is bound to be yes at some point.

Want some effective divorce insurance? Try premarital counseling. One study found that couples who went to premarital counseling had marriages that were thirty percent stronger than couples who didn’t. Counseling taught them communication and conflict resolution skills. What if you’re already married? Counseling during marriage has been shown to create a feeling of significant improvement in sixty-five percent of the couples who attend. If you are considering divorce, mediation is the most cost effective and satisfactory way to resolve the issues in front of you. No insurance needed.

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