There is perhaps no more important and personal legal right than the right to parent one’s children. This is why child custody disputes during divorce proceedings can become so contentious – and costly. As a result, it is in everyone’s best interest to communicate effectively during the divorce process in order to prevent misunderstandings and come to a mutually agreeable resolution. If you live in or around St. Louis, speak with our St Louis Mediation Lawyer to learn about this option.
In many cases, divorce mediation is a critical step toward developing effective parenting plans that respect each parent’s rights and reduce conflict in the new family dynamic. Mediation can have many benefits over litigation, including:
• Providing the parties with more control over the outcome
• Preserving the marital estate by saving money on attorney’s fees
• Crafting a solution that allows both parties to feel that they have gotten what they want, reducing the chances for an appeal or modification in the future
Mediation may not be appropriate for all child custody disputes: for example, if a parent has a history of domestic violence, the other parent may wish to ask a judge for orders to protect the children, an anger management program, counseling, or supervised visitation. To determine whether mediation is appropriate in your divorce and child custody cases, call our office today to speak with a St. Louis divorce mediation attorney.
St Louis Mediation and Co-Parenting
St Louis Mediation is one of the most effective ways to establish ground rules for co-parenting after a divorce. Each parent participates in the process and contributes to the plan. This helps parents retain control of the situation and feel that they had a say in the co-parenting arrangements (as opposed to having custody orders forced upon them by a family law judge). Jennifer Rench is an experienced St. Louis family law attorney and mediator. She knows how to help parents navigate their differences to create effective parenting plans that will guide families successfully through the challenges of co-parenting after a divorce. Call (314) 328-5423 to schedule your free consultation.
St Louis Divorce Can Be Extremely Costly
If you are on the fence regarding pursuing mediation, it’s important to keep in mind that litigating a divorce can be very, very expensive. As a general rule, the more contentious and acrimonious a divorce is, the more it’s going to cost both parties. Divorce attorneys often charge by the hour, and which means that every phone call or email exchange between your lawyer and your spouse’s lawyer is going to cost you money. In fact, 24/7 Wall St. determined that the average cost of a divorce can range anywhere from $8,400 to $17,500! In addition, as a general rule, the costs of obtaining a divorce go up when there are children involved.
Mediation Can Reduce Conflict in the Present and the Future
As a parent going through a divorce, it is likely that one of your highest priorities is minimizing the emotional toll that your split is going to have on your children. Issues like ongoing conflict between parents and uncertainty about where a child will spend a holiday or vacation can place unnecessary stress on children and have an effect on their emotional and psychological well-being. In fact, research indicates that divorce and separation can have a negative impact on a child’s academic performance. For this reason, a particularly acrimonious and disruptive divorce could have a direct impact on your child’s grades, test scores, college admission prospects, and ultimately, career and financial well-being.
Fortunately, mediation provides an opportunity for divorcing parents to avoid the “winner-takes-all” paradigm that governs litigation and work together to find a solution that works for everyone. Where litigation can escalate conflict, mediation can foster an environment where people who have chosen to end their marriages can work amicably to resolve the issues that need to be resolved before their divorce can be finalized. Additionally, after the outcome of contentious litigation or an acrimonious settlement, the parties are often unhappy with the outcome, almost ensuring further conflict in the future. In mediation, however, the parties are generally more satisfied with the outcome, reducing the chances of future disputes and conflict.
Prevent Disputes with the Assistance of a St. Louis Divorce Mediation Lawyer
The more collaboration there is in divorce mediation, the more control a parent will feel over child custody arrangements. This can help divorced families reduce conflicts both large and small. Experienced St. Louis divorce mediator Jennifer Rench can help your family prepare for a new family dynamic by mediating effective parenting plans. Call (314) 328-5423 today to schedule your free consultation. Avoiding litigation will save time and money, as well as the bad feelings that are caused by recalling painful experiences in court. It will also give you a practical guide for working together to co-parent effectively after a divorce.