HOW MEDIATION HELPS CHILDREN OF SEPARATING COUPLES IN MANCHESTER
According to the UK office of statistics, 42% of marriages in the UK end in divorce which means there is a growing need for disputes to be handled in a way that protects the interest of children and ensures that their futures are not negatively impacted by the separation of their parents. Mediation is strategy that is designed to foster communication between separating parties and to ensure that children in a city like Manchester are protected from the potentially ugly side of divorce.
The first and most important aspect of mediation is that it helps parents set a good example for their kids because it teaches them that just because you have a disagreement with someone does not mean that human decency should be substituted for insults and vulgarity as is often the case with parents in a divorce court. Children are built to learn by watching how their elders behave and if they see their own parents acting in hostile and nasty ways towards each other then that is how they will behave as well. Mediation on the other hand is a process designed to create an amicable environment between divorcing parties and ensures that children learn the right kind of values.
Of critical importance to the well being of a child is deciding on the sensitive issue of child custody. Parents who go through mediation have a tendency to respect child custody agreements when compared to those who go through the ordinary court process. This is because there is a general feeling of fairness that exists in the ruling made by an impartial mediator and both parties often leave feeling that agreement is just. If one party feels that the other received more time with children due to gender or financial muscle then this often leads to years of bitter disagreements and arguments in front of children.
Attorneys unlike mediators are known to be ruthlessly adversarial in protecting the interests of their client often at the expense of the interests of kids involved. This approach can have disastrous effects on children because in a divorce court an attorney paid three thousand dollars an hour will very likely eviscerate one paid three hundred leading to an unfair advantage against the parent who lacks financial muscle and a miscarriage of justice that ignores what is best for a child. Mediators are completly impartial and do not profit in any way if they favor one side or another ensuring children’s best interests are of the highest priority.
Anyone who has watched a divorce court case knows just how messy things can get because both parties are out for blood and will air each others dirty laundry out for the whole world to see. This fiasco can scar the self esteem of a child who has to witness his or her parents tear each other to shreds and will also create a scenario in which children no longer feel the need to respect parents because of how they portrayed each other. Mediation on the other hand is often a private affair in which mistakes such as infidelity are not made public and therefore children’s psyches are protected from shame and ridicule.
It is tragic that statistics show that over 13% of children blame themselves for their parents divorce. This is largely due to poor communication from their parents to explain to their children that they are not to blame for the unfortunate circumstance surrounding them. These children are often devastated and fail to share their feelings with their parents because they are too “wrapped up in their concerns” to listen to them. Mediation is a process that allows for children to share their feelings as opposed to keeping them bottled up which can lead to depression and anger issues. Depending on the age a child, mediators ask children questions involving serious issues such as custody so that a child feels that his/her opinions and feelings matter.
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