Payne & Associates, PLLC

For many parents, the most nerve-racking aspect of divorce is the worry about how it will affect the children. Kids often have a difficult time processing the emotions that come with a divorce. They may fear losing their families or the love of either parent. Children can also become angry at feeling out of control about their lives, which can cause them to act out at home and in school.

The more bitter and contentious your divorce becomes, the more potential it has for all of that negativity to spill over and impact your children. Taking steps to shield the kids from the social and emotional fallout of divorce is always prudent. Divorce mediation may be one tool you can use to limit the damage divorce inflicts on your children.

Mediation won't involve the children at all

In some ways, the courts can help empower children during divorce. In North Carolina, older children may have the right to weigh in on custody matters, requesting the judge allow them to live with one parent over the other. In some ways, this is positive, as the courts can then make a decision that includes the minor children's wishes.

Other times, children may have to speak up in court to validate one parent's version of events. This can also empower a child to stand up to an abusive parent. However, needing to take a side in a divorce can also cause serious emotional turmoil for the children involved.

When you go through divorce mediation, your children do not need to talk to the judge or give testimony in court. You and your ex can reflect on their wishes and best interests and do your best to reach a custody agreement that focuses on the needs of the children.

Mediation keeps details of your divorce private

One thing that parents often fail to consider is that even if children don't sit in court listening to testimony, they can always review the court records in the future. Divorce proceedings, unless sealed by a judge, become part of the public record. Your child could eventually read everything you and your spouse say about one another during your divorce.

Mediation doesn't encourage mud-slinging the way that a litigated divorce sometimes does. Instead, it helps divorcing spouses work together to find workable compromises at the end of a marriage.

Each spouse will need to focus on resolving the practical issues of the divorce, not the emotional response to the end of the marriage. When you finish the process, your records remain private, other than the terms and information you submit to the courts when you file for divorce.

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Payne & Associates, PLLC
206 North Spruce Street, Suite 1B
Winston Salem, NC 27101

Phone: 336-283-2937
Fax: 336-217-8784
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