Divorce can be tough on a family, no matter how amicable the process. And if you’re a parent, it’s normal to worry about what your child thinks of the whole process. But how much should they be involved? We’re here to answer that question.
Your child may not be old enough to have input.
Children of different ages handle divorce in different ways. Young children, for example, might not understand fully what’s happening or why. A teenager who’s 16 years old, on the other hand, will likely have a full understanding of the situation and want input in regards to their schedule and needs. In fact, they should have strong input on how and where their time will be spent.
Remember that input does not mean decisions.
Input and decisions are two very different things. When all is said and done, you and your spouse need to be the people making decisions in regards to your child’s care. In many cases, a mediator will want specific input from your child about how you, as a parent, can help them through this process. Remember: if you’re unable to ask for input from your child without compromising their mental or emotional well-being, it’s important to involve a specialist who can help.
Your child doesn’t need to be present to have input.
No matter the divorce advice you’ve received in the past, there’s no need for your child to be present during any of your divorce mediation proceedings. Family mediation doesn’t necessarily mean the entire family needs to be present. If your child isn’t comfortable attending a mediation session, you can opt for a recorded or written statement or a private mediator interview.
Consider the statistics.
Roughly 75% of children with divorced parents end up living with their mother. If you or a mediator believes living with one parent over the other is preferable for your child, it’s important to make that known. And more importantly, it’s important to let your child know. Their input could help you make a decision that’s best for their overall health and well-being.
Thinking on these matters before involving your child in mediation could be monumentally helpful. And if you’d like to seek counsel from a mediator, don’t hesitate to contact us today.