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 Taunton Gazette in New York wrote an insightful article about the sudden need for mediation and parenting plans amid the pandemic. ````````````````````With new orders everyday for people to isolate, quarantine or lock down, how will you and your children adapt?
How will your custody change?
How do your views on how to address this align and conflict?
With job losses, how will child support change?
There are no shortage of questions to be worked through and unless you have an emergency order, most of these issues will not be resolved in a courtroom.
Mediation can be a good route to developing a plan that works for everyone. Putting your child(ren)’s needs first will ensure that they are less traumatized during this upset.
Fill out a contact form today to book a mediation session where you can develop a COVID-19 parenting plan together.
COVID-19 is forcing us to take things one step at a time... During these uncertain times, it’s good to have plans. One of the most important plans to have in place if you’re a divorced/separated parent, is a PARENTING PLAN. A mediator like me can help you get one in place specific to this Pandemic and the ever evolving adaptations we’re all undergoing. WHO and HOW will at-home education be addressed? WHAT should we tell/not tell the kids about what is going on in the world? These times are hard enough, being on the same page with your co-parent is vital. Contact me today to set up a virtual parenting plan session. #virtual #parenting#covid19 #mediation #parentingplan#custody #kidsfirst #socialdistancing
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.
If you are concerned about the time it might take to mediate, your best course is to come PREPARED! Bringing organized documentation pertaining to all of the issues to be mediated will streamline the process and keep your time and costs down.
Mediation is meant to be approached in good faith. One party hiding assets, money, debt, etc could very well cause a breakdown of trust that could end negotiation on a dime.
Today I mediated for 7 1/2 hours without a break. I was the one mediating, so i can only assume that it must have felt several times longer for the parties involved as it was their lives that were being affected. It would have been tragic to end mediation because the parties were exhausted by the process and not because they couldn't come to agreeable terms.
If you are preparing to mediate a divorce, come prepared to discuss EVERYTHING and plan to spend the better part of the day FOCUSED on mediation. Deadlines or events planned on the same day may distracting and put undue pressure on the process.
Many people don't realize that Mediation is a course of action that is ALWAYS an option. May times clients who are court-ordered to seek a resolution through mediation give up after the first attempt. It is often the case that the real problem with finding a resolution is timing. That means, if the same two parties were to attempt Mediation at a later time, the result could be remarkably different.
It is always worthwhile to reconsider and make multiple attempts to mediate a dispute, even if you have previous failed attempts. A mutual agreement is almost always better than a court-order for all parties involved. If you're feeling DONE, take control and give mediation a try.
Ongoing, regularly scheduled mediation sessions to address regularly occurring custody issues (extracurricular, holidays, etc.) is a great way to avoid high conflict interactions in uncontrolled environments and relieve anxiety and distrust when co-parenting.
To book your next mediation session, click here.
I once observed a mediation that was mainly about the custody of a single child. One parent was down to once a week monitored visits only. Both parents realized how important it is for their child to have time and a relationship with both parents. Because they started with the same value (the child having a relationship with both parents) they were able to set up an 18 month plan toward shared custody that worked in stages.
With each 3-6 month stage of their agreement, the parent with limited time, committed to take steps to improve their living situation to benefit the child and gain trust in the other parent. Each step challenged both parties to leave their comfort zone but with a focus on the child. That was really the key to bringing them to the table. There were safe guards in place to revert back to the beginning of the stages certain conditions were not met or violated. Both parents left feeling hopeful and secure.
Often times it is difficult to make big changes all at once. Mediation is a place where both parties can openly express their concerns and hesitations and create a plan together that addresses those concerns and hesitations. When both parties work toward a common ideal/value, there is limitless options on a path forward that will protect the interests of all parties while operating in good faith.
It is so satisfying seeing parties previously in conflict work together on their own. When their agreements are their own, they are more likely to stick to them. This was a very valuable learning experience for me that I have already applied to my own life.
That's the beauty of mediation, each one is unique and can help make everyone involved more open and understanding toward others.
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