When parents have made the decision to seek a divorce, the harmful affect on their children should be kept to a minimum. From the children’s standpoint, your separation is very traumatic all by itself and a conflict between the parents only makes matters worse. Both parents need to focus on what is best for their children.

Each parent has an obligation to support their children, but the amount that one parent will pay to the other often develops into a bitter court battle, and these battles can affect the children. In a court proceeding, the children are often placed in the middle and may be required to appear at trial as a witness or participate in a private interview with the judge, or they may be required to make a decision between parents.

Texas has adopted child support guidelines, which judges will use to establish child support, with the amounts based upon the payer’s income and the number of children to be supported. In addition to child support the paying parent will also be required to provide health insurance coverage for the children.

 However these guidelines have not stopped the battles between parents, and they do not address expenses for college or the extra expenses incurred for extracurricular activities. These are important issues for the children and they should be addressed by the parents.

As parents, you have a choice about how you will resolve the issues of child support, and your choice determines how much of an effect your separation will have on your children. Those parents who maintain good communications with each other during and after separation will minimize the impact of their separation upon their children. 

Mediation is a process in which a mediator, who is a trained neutral third person, helps the parents negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement regarding child support (as well as any other issues the parents want resolved.) The parents, not the mediator, make the decision. The parents determine what is appropriate for the children. No result is imposed on a disagreeing parent.

Mediation helps parents remain focused on plans for the children’s future instead of on the parents' past conflicts, hurts and grievances. Also, mediation allows the parents to create and adopt unique solutions that are tailored to their children’s needs and that may go beyond remedies that can be ordered by the court, and the courts favor an amicable agreement between the parties.

Mediation usually resolves disputes faster and cheaper than going to court. Also, because the settlement is designed and agreed to by the parents themselves, it is more likely to be carried out without the need for further legal proceedings. This is an extremely important benefit. 

Perhaps the most important benefit of mediation in a divorce is the preservation of the relationship that must exist between parents after separation. Cooperation between the parents goes a long way to reduce the stress and anxiety in the lives of their children.


JERRY KING LAW OFFICES
P. O. Box 160396
San Antonio, TX  78280
(210) 497-8046