All elements of the divorce can be handled in mediation including property, debt, child support, child custody, etc.  In order to address a property and debt division, please be prepared to disclose to each other all assets and debts.  For more information about child custody issues, read below. 

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Shielding the Kids

Most likely you have already attended the education program ordered by the court which provides information on how to shield children from potential harmful effects of having their parents live apart.   In mediation, you are invited to consider child custody solutions that focus on your child’s need to be out of the middle of the parenting relationship and responsibilities.

Children cannot thrive when they are caught in the middle of their parents' conflict.  Surprisingly for most children, HOW parents resolve disagreements is more important than the solution itself.  Mediation can help you manage conflict in a way that keeps children out of the middle. 

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Long Distance Parenting

Children often interpret lack of contact from a far-away parent as lack of love.  Regular contact by webcam, telephone and email can go a long way to show love to children who live far away.  It lets them know parents think about them often and still love them. 

Children of all ages need to have clear and exact understanding of how and when they will have that all-important contact with the far-away Mom or Dad.  Separation hurts and when children don’t know when they will see or hear from a parent it unnecessarily adds to their pain.

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Calculating Child Support

In Idaho, child support is based in part on the custody arrangements and in part on the parent’s incomes.  Ethically, it is important that clients get “no surprises” after mediation.  So, I will provide an estimate of the child support that applies to the various custody options discussed in mediation, and I can also create the final income and support worksheets. 

The child support guidelines also address other child-related financial topics commonly discussed in mediation including allocation of income tax benefits and expenses for health care, work-related childcare, and transportation.  

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Spend Time With Your Children

A common complaint from children is that they spend more time with a stepparent and stepfamily than they do with their Mom or Dad. Children look forward to being with their parent, and usually have all kinds of expectations about how they will spend the time with Mom or Dad. It helps to discuss ahead of time what will be happening so your children know what to expect when they are with you. Children always cope better when they have predictability.

Children also treasure time alone with their Mom and Dad. Parents should include work, play, and time alone with children when they are together. Plan one-on-one time with each child!