Data Shows that Mediated Divorces Benefit Children

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Explore:  Divorce Mediation

Mediated divorces have been growing in popularity — and for good reason. They are cost-effective, less stressful and enable divorcing couples to exert much more control over decisions such as property division. Plus, the numbers are now in on how mediated divorces lead to better outcomes than more traditional - and often contentious - divorces. Among other things, those numbers show that mediated divorce can have a positive effect on parent-child relationships.

Researchers at the University of Virginia looked at how children of divorce fared over time. Certain key advantages were reported in families several years after a mediated divorce:

  • Three times as many nonresidential parents see their children at least once a week, when compared to litigated divorces.
  • In mediated divorces, only half as many nonresidential parents hadn’t seen their children in the preceding year
  • Parents who had a mediated divorce reported far greater involvement in life activities of their children (e.g., school functions, recreation, holidays, vacations, special events), discipline, grooming and faith community co-participation.

It may be argued that such outcomes are self-selecting because amicable parties tend to engage a mediator for their divorce. But evidence of the positive relationship between mediation and closer parent-child relationships is convincing - and family courts always look for solutions that are in the best interest of the children

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Mediated divorces have been growing in popularity — and for good reason. They are cost-effective, less stressful and enable divorcing couples to exert much more control over decisions such as property division. Plus, the numbers are now in on how mediated divorces lead to better outcomes than more traditional - and often contentious - divorces. Among other things, those numbers show that mediated divorce can have a positive effect on parent-child relationships.

Researchers at the University of Virginia looked at how children of divorce fared over time. Certain key advantages were reported in families several years after a mediated divorce:

Three times as many nonresidential parents see their children at least once a week, when compared to litigated divorces.

In mediated divorces, only half as many nonresidential parents hadn’t seen their children in the preceding year

Parents who had a mediated divorce reported far greater involvement in life activities of their children (e.g., school functions, recreation, holidays, vacations, special events), discipline, grooming and faith community co-participation.

It may be argued that such outcomes are self-selecting because amicable parties tend to engage a mediator for their divorce. But evidence of the positive relationship between mediation and closer parent-child relationships is convincing - and family courts always look for solutions that are in the best interest of the children.

Topics:  Divorce, Mediation

Published In: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Updates, Family Law Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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