Like all good parents in North Carolina and beyond, your primary concerns in life always include your children’s best interests. Whether you have one child or several, you no doubt carefully make major life decisions with their well-being in mind. When you decided to file for a divorce, you may have immediately begun to worry about how your decision might affect your kids.
Divorce typically disrupts children’s lives, although many kids are able to cope in a healthy manner and “go with the flow” as their parents help them adapt to a new lifestyle and family dynamic. If your goal is to keep stress to a minimum as much as possible for your children, you might consider divorce mediation as an option as opposed to litigation.
Your children may cope better if you and your ex agree to avoid confrontation
Studies show that children who are constantly exposed to parental conflict in divorce often have trouble coping. If you and your ex agree to mediate your settlement, it might be a lot less stressful for your kids because, in order to begin mediation sessions, you and your co-parent must agree to discuss all relevant issues in a peaceful, amicable fashion and to try your best to avoid confrontation.
To mediate your divorce, each of you is guaranteed an opportunity to express your needs, thoughts and opinions and to make any requests you believe are necessary to a fair settlement. You also must agree from the start to resolve disagreements through mediation sessions and to avoid litigation whenever possible.
Mediation is beneficial in several ways
Besides being less stressful for children, you might be able to save money regarding divorce-related expenses if you choose mediation over litigation. Mediation is typically the least expensive means for settling a divorce. Mediation also enables you to construct a co-parenting plan and child custody agreement on your own terms by negotiating a plan rather than seeking the court’s approval for a final decree.
Adherence to a child custody order is required
Once a North Carolina family court judge approves your child custody agreement and issues a final divorce decree, you and your ex are obligated to adhere to the agreed upon terms, no matter what. If, for some reason, you believe you have reason to change the terms of your agreement, you must file a petition for modification in court, which the judge may or may not grant. It’s best to seek legal guidance for any child custody issues that you don’t feel equipped to handle on your own.