A recent article discusses the very real benefits of mediation to children whose parents are divorcing. See “Mediation works in kids’ custody spats” by Theresa Tan and published in The Straits Times on, Apr 05, 2015. Singapore has a mandatory mediation program for divorcing parents. About four out of five of the almost 5,000 divorcing parents who have gone through the programs have reached agreements regarding their children.
A spokesman for the program reported that mediation: “drastically lowers the risk of children being caught in the bitterness between warring and insecure parents…” Further: “Children will be more secure and less traumatised [sic] by the breakdown of their parents’ relationship.”
The reporter interviewed lawyer and family mediator Mr. Rajan Chettiar, who discussed how children get dragged into parents’ fights and exposed to parents’ “pain and anger.” He described seeing parents attempt to influence children against the other parent or prevent access with the other parent “to get the upper hand in their custody battle.” Clearly, such behavior is contrary to children’s best interests. Mediation, says Mr. Chettiar, allows parents “to listen to and understand each other and negotiate solutions that are in their child’s best interests.”
Another lawyer and mediator interviewed, Foo Siew Fong, stated that mediation or counseling helps because parents: “are in too much pain to think clearly and calmly” for the benefit of their children.
The article also describes the obvious financial benefit of settling in mediation rather than facing lengthy and contentious litigation.
Alona M. Gottfried is a family mediator and attorney in Arizona. If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice. See a legal professional before making legal decisions.
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