When a couple with children decides to get a divorce through mediation, they usually have a lot of questions before they begin. One of these questions is regarding whether the children should actually attend or even participate in the mediation sessions with the parents. There are a lot of factors that you should consider when mulling this over.
If your children are young and don’t particularly understand what is going on and why they won’t be living with both of their parents anymore, attending mediation may not be in their best interest. Older children who do understand what is going on and are likely upset about the divorce may say that they want to attend. However, you don’t want to subject your children to any more arguing between the parents or put them in situations that may upset them further. Additionally, make sure that if they do attend the sessions, they are not forced to take sides.
As previously mentioned, if the two spouses are simply sitting there bickering throughout the mediation sessions, do not bring the children. It is likely that they have already been subject to more than enough hostility between the parents and they do not need to be present for any more of it. If the parents decide that the children should attend one session, they should be sure to agree, if only for the sake of the children, that they will not argue and will put on a positive demeanor.
If you have questions about your children’s involvement in mediation, contact an experienced mediator today.
Leslye M. Schlesinger is an experienced New City, NY collaborative divorce attorney and mediator serving Rockland and Westchester County. Ms. Schlesinger has over 30 years of experience. If you need her quality legal services, contact her New City office for a consultation.