Mediate.com recently published an article titled Top 5 Co-Parenting Apps for Mediation.
Apps are a recent and welcome tool to the world of co-parenting. Juggling schedules, finances, messages between two parties can be difficult and these apps hope to resolve many of those issues.
It is often the case, that co-parents are not able to think far enough ahead when they are in the process of divorce or separation. Their inability to picture an unknowable future will often times have them return to court for a parenting plan modification.
As a mediator, I like to suggest co-parenting tools such as apps to help facilitate coordination and communication when the parties are high conflict or simply disorganized.
It is always helpful to have update on the latest apps and the features they offer.
I found this interesting article on Babygaga.com about "parallel parenting" as opposed to co-parenting. The jist of it is that parallel parenting is ideal in cases where the parents to a child engage in a more business like relationship when it comes to parenting. Co-parenting is only possible when the two parents involved can communicate and work together on a mutually agreed upon parenting plan. When communication and collaboration are not possible, parallel parenting is the next best thing. Read more about parallel parenting here.
An item of future conflict that is often overlooked when knee-deep in a divorce, is how both parties will address relationships with significant others in the future.
The goal of mediation is to reduce the amount of conflict not only during divorce, but in a way that sets up a good foundation to avoid conflict in the future.
This is a good article with a free worksheet for co-parents to use as a reference. There is a lot to consider when it comes to when and how to introduce a new romantic partner to your co-parent and kids.
Lexology.com featured a great article discussing the challenges of co-parenting during COVID-19. It may seem obvious that communication is not only important but essential in new ways during this “new normal”. They recommend finding the most effective means of communication and agreeing upon terms and use of that communication. It is important that co-parents are open and forthcoming about how they plan to approach parenting during their time. These methods of improved communication can be discussed and organized without tension in mediation. Contact us to schedule today.
Law.com posted an article discussing how fortunate it is that the legal profession can thrive virtually as the many other industries are unable to adapt. They focus a few paragraphs on Mediation specifically and how it is essentially the same as in-person:
The Zoom technology is remarkably easy to use. The virtual mediations I’ve done so far have involved participants covering the entire spectrum of computer prowess, and all have fared quite well. More importantly, the real engine of successful mediations–personal connections—hits on all eight cylinders in the virtual format. Following one recent virtual mediation of a significant injury case, the defense attorney told me how she was able to adjust her comments in the opening by reading the reaction of the plaintiff on the video. Just as with in-person mediations, the real-time feedback is there.
So, from the perspective of our clients, virtual mediations have been an unequivocal success. And I can also say that, from a mediator’s perspective, it is no less so. Success for mediators comes only when we can personally connect with the parties and counsel. A quote attributed to Teddy Roosevelt says, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” At the mediation of any significant case, there comes a point when I am leading clients, step by step, to a place that, though necessary to get to, is tough terrain to traverse. If they don’t trust my judgment and motivation, they won’t take my hand. If you had asked me, even weeks ago, if this level of rapport could be established over a virtual medium, I would have said, “No way.” I was wrong. Happily, thankfully, mercifully, I was very wrong.
Done Medation plans to resume all mediations via videoconferencing using Zoom as mentioned in this article. To schedule a mediation for yourself, contact us today.
timminstoday.com posted an article recently that gave some helpful tips to divorced parents. Click on the link above to read it for yourself. They gave much of the same advice as other articles mentioned in this blog pertaining to COVID-19, but they bring up the idea of keeping on task with creating a “temporary” parenting plan and leaving the big issues for later in this way:
Nail down off-limit conversations
After ensuring children’s physical safety is looked after, Stewart advises mapping out how to protect their emotional health. One way is to put all conversations that lead to heated arguments or stress on hold.
“We’re not going to talk about the future financial situation. We’re not going to talk about long-term custody arrangements,” Stewart said.
“We are going to deal with this short term. So there should be some conversations that are taken off the table until this is done. If you’re dealing with lawyers, put them at bay.”
The Boston Herald recently posted an article called ‘Custody Issues in a Time of Coronavirus’. A mother who works from home and has 3 school aged children is suddenly taking care of them full-time and asks their father to pay additional child support during this time as she cannot maintain full-time hours and is now caring for the children 24/7. Author Wendy Hickey offers great legal advice on how to approach the conversation, prepare documentation, and the legal path forward.
It seems this couple had a partial resolution for their parenting plan and failed to make it to the finish line. A quick session of mediation might have helped fill in the gaps and relieve a lot of stress for everyone in the future.
If you have questions about what the future holds during this pandemic, schedule a session of mediation today.
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