Divorce, Custody and Parenting Time Mediation

Happy FamilyIs There Any Such Thing as a "Friendly Divorce?"

Divorce is never 100% friendly. Divorce is ending a relationship that began with love and a vow of devotion. It likely is a "bitter-sweet" experience.  That does not mean it has to be an adversarial process.  Many individuals divorce without it being adversarial.  After a period of adjustment and transition, many spouses end up being friends -- at least when it comes to their children.

The process of divorce has significantly changed over the years.  Today's divorces are handled differently in the courts, because research shows that mediation and other nonadversarial processes produce better results. Statistics show that divorce and co-parenting education plays a significant role in preventing a drawn out adversarial divorce.  Statistics show that when spouses resolve their divorce through nonadversarial means, such as mediation, ex-spouses are less likely to have repeated litigation for post-divorce issues and the transitions for children are easier.

The difficult long drawn-out divorce sticks in people's minds leading to the perception that divorce is adversarial most of the time. Fortunately, the adversarial divorce in most situations can be avoided.  Unfortunately, that does not mean adversarial divorces never occur.

Can a divorce be done without attorneys?

It is not uncommon for spouses to end their marriages without attorneys and proceed through the courts unrepresented by legal counsel. If you have legal questions regarding your divorce, certainly you should see an attorney to get those questions answered; however, you can pay the attorney by the hour without retaining an attorney to represent you in court. 

It is not uncommon today for spouses to use mediation and a legal drafting service.  It there are children involved, seek a mediator trained in parenting coordination as well as divorce mediation.  A parenting coordinator can provide valuable advice and suggestions regarding sharing parenting responsibiities and raising children between the two homes. You are always in control of the decision making process and the outcome through mediation.  If spouses become legal-minded and put decision making powers in the hands of attorneys and courts, you lose control of the outcome.  When you mediate your divorce, you are in control of the outcome and the process.  Once you have an agreement, you can proceed with legal assistant drafting or another alternative.  You are in control of the way you want to proceed to finalize your divorce through the courts.

Mediation Works North specializes in divorce mediation and parenting coordination.  We also provide drafting services for dissolution of marriage.  We are a Minnesota-based organization serving the Sixth Judicial District as well as surrounding areas.  We have done so since 1996.  We have provided Minnesota Supreme Court approved divorce co-parenting educational programs since 2000.  We have helped hundreds of people through the transitions of divorce with a special focus on keeping children out of the middle of parental battles.  We strive to help people divorce with dignity so they can provide peaceful home environments for their children as well as for the parents.  Children adjust to transitions of parental separation and divorce only as well as the parents are able to adjust. 

When parents divorce without the adversarial court processes, parents are far more likely to remain cooperative in raising their children between the two homes years after the divorce.  Studies have proven that parents that reach agreement through mediation experience less conflict after the divorce and experience better coordination in co-parenting.  If there is a primary custodial parent, parents reported that the nonprimary custodial parent remained actively involved in the lives of their children even 12 years after the divorce. Children do best when they can love and be proud of both of their parents.  Children do best when they can see parents on a regular and frequent basis according to the needs of the family as a whole.

Divorce is intensely personal -- for you, your spouse and your children. No one needs their personal lives aired in a courtroom. Parties to a divorce are the best persons to make decisions regarding the end of their marriage and their children. Parents know the needs of their children better than anyone else in the world.

"Divorce with Dignity"

The "Divorce with Dignity" program is designed to provide spouses with assistance and support when going into a divorce. The sooner spouses enter the program, the sooner a parenting schedule can be put into place.  A mediator will help you discuss any areas that are in disagreement.  "Divorce with Dignity" is not a substitute for legal advice. If there are legal questions you will be asked to pose those questions to an attorney before proceeding with the program.After all data is gathered and you have made decisions that are acceptable to both parties, you are ready to make the decision of how you will proceed through the court system to finalize your divorce.  Drafting services will be offered; however, you have other choices.

The effects of a peaceful divorce on children:

Children will not be caught between parental conflict.   Children's lives stabilize more quickly and they are less affected by their parents' divorce or separation.  Children are more likely to see their parents on a regular and frequent basis. Parents are better able to communicate the needs of their children and provide peaceful home environments for their children.  Even more importantly, parents bring home the message to their children that even when people disagree there are peaceful solutions. Even through the pain and transition of divorce, families survive and can even thrive. Divorce changes the family's structure; however it does not end the family. That is a life lesson worth teaching your children.

What about custody and parenting time problems for unmarried parents?

When parents fear losing relationship with their children, or are concerned they will be controlled by the other parent through their children, whether you are married or have children outside of a legal marriage, the battle is on!  It does not have to be a battle! Custody battles are not only expensive; they are destructive. Once involved in custody litigation, the chances of parents cooperatively working together once the litigation is over is not likely.  The trust between parents will be destroyed, and children are left with two adversarial parents.

Unless it involves a safety issue for children such as abuse, neglect, alcohol, drugs or mental illness for example, custody battles can be resolved by developing a parenting plan that allows both parents to see and be actively involved in their children's lives. When a parent does not see their children on a regular basis they miss their children.  The children miss their parent. If parents are willing to adjust the schedule and meet in the middle, they can avoid an expensive custody litigation. It is a more difficult situation if there is a pending move out of a residential area.  Even then, while the decisions will be difficult, they are not impossible to work through.

Mediation is a confidential process that helps parents make decisions that impact their lives and the lives of their children. A mediator is a trained third-party neutral experienced in court processes and issues of divorce, custody and parenting time. Our mediator is also trained in parenting coordination and has over 25 years of experience in the field of mediation and parenting custodial conflicts.

We specialize in helping spouses through the challenges of divorce with and without children.  We also have a strong focus on divorce and co-parenting education, because education combined with mediation is effective in drawing in peace to the family transitions.  Family peace for the sake of children has been the long-term mission of our organization.

IMPACT PARENT EDUCATION for Divorce and Separating Parents (IPE)

To access information and to register for this program, please go to the top navigational bar and touch on "Services" and then scroll down the menu to Impact-Based Parent Education. Classes are available online using a live facilitated online process that is approved by the Minnesota Supreme Court for online divorce and co-parent education. The online process allows us to serve parents anywhere in the United States. The program provides parents with a facilitator that is trained in mediation, court processes, and parenting coordination.  

Combining co-parent education and mediation produces peaceful results in the least amount of time and for the least cost! 

Call us today to ask about our services. 

If looking to register for the Impact Based Parent Educational program for court ordered divorce and co-parent education, please register through our website where credit cards are accepted. Use the navigation bar at the top of this screen.  Also, please see our "tips" and "helpful weblinks" sections.

Additional Services

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Mediation Works North Inc
4010 9th Ave W
Hibbing, MN 55746
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(218) 263-7307

Mediation and Parenting Plans

Court-Approved Education
for Families in Transition
of Divorce or Separation

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