Divorce Mediation/Co-parenting Mediation
by Lacey Picou-Billiot, LPC, LMFT
When parents have ongoing conflicts, the children suffer in both the short and long term. Healthy interactions and cooperation between parents, whether in the same home or in two different homes is essential for the psychological well-being of everyone, especially the children.
What is divorce mediation and co-parenting mediation?
Divorce mediation/co-parenting mediation is a process that helps people negotiate directly in a healthy way with the guidance of a qualified mediation counselor. The mediator and the mediation process provides the opportunity for both parties to be heard and understood and to work toward establishing an agreement that is mutually beneficial.
With the help of the mediator, key issues can be identified and clarified including parenting issues, custody of the children, visitation schedules, and plans for the future. Mediation is appropriate for couples (who were married or never married) after the decision to divorce or separate has been made. Even after a divorce is complete, this process can be utilized to draft a documented agreement about issues under dispute.
When couples cannot agree about parenting decisions, custody, visitation schedules, or other issues, mediation can be invaluable in maintaining civility between the two parties as well as saving on the cost of lawyer fees.
Through mediation, a co-parenting plan can be drafted and agreed upon by both parties. This plan will assist the parents in establishing a more effective and positive way to raise their children.
At the conclusion of mediation, each person is given a copy of a document that represents the understanding of the agreements for the future. This document can then be given to the attorneys for review. This document is not a binding agreement until the agreement has been submitted to the court for approval.
For more information about mediation, contact Lacey Picou-Billiot, LPC at 985-232-0577.