Making parenting arrangements during mediation can be a challenging and emotional process. It’s essential to avoid common mistakes that can make the situation worse. Our family lawyers at Shane McClure have provided some tips to help you avoid the top three mistakes when making parenting arrangements during mediation.
1. Speaking Poorly of Your Ex
It’s natural to feel frustrated or angry with your ex during this process. However, speaking poorly of them in front of your children can cause significant distress. Your children love you both and don’t want to hear why you think your ex is a terrible person. Moreover, they may not understand the intricacies of marriage. Avoid undermining your ex to your kids as this could impact their relationship with you or your ex, especially as they get older. Remember, children are perceptive, and they will understand the situation over time.
Another important consequence to consider is that if you end up in court, the court looks poorly on the parent who is badmouthing the other. They understand the impact this behaviour can have on children, so it’s best to steer clear.
2. Guilt-Tripping Your Children
Guilt-tripping your children, also known as parental alienation, can damage your relationship with them irreparably. Avoid behaviours such as crying excessively after interacting with your ex, telling your child that the other parent abandoned you, telling your child the other parent is taking you to court, or telling your child you have no money because of the other parent. While it’s easy to consider leaning on your teenage child’s shoulder for emotional comfort, remember that your children are looking to you for guidance, not the other way around. If you’re having trouble managing your feelings, consider seeking help from a professional.
The damage that guilt-tripping can do to your children can be great and cannot be undone. Also, if you find yourself in court for a parenting agreement, the court will not look favorably on this behaviour.
3. Not Communicating with Your Ex
Even though you may have valid reasons to ignore your ex, your children need you to communicate with each other effectively. When separated parents cannot communicate or co-parent effectively, children can feel torn between two people and two worlds. But when you and your ex-spouse can speak to each other and agree on how to parent, your children will have a united parenting front, consistency, and they will feel safe. When you and your ex learn to communicate freely and easily, your children will thrive. Additionally, the law requires you to try mediation with your ex to sort out property and parenting orders first. This means you will have to at least try and talk to your ex-spouse. Having the assistance and expertise of an experienced mediator, like the ones at Shane McClure, can be very helpful in this process.
Remember that your children’s best interests should always be at the center of all discussions and arrangements. It’s easy for your own agenda to take centre stage, but whenever you are about to make a decision or take action, ask yourself if it’s truly in the best interests of your child or just to appease yourself. While going through separation is painful for both parents, and co-parenting can be awkward, you can get through this process as smoothly as possible with the help of a compassionate and experienced family lawyer.
At Shane McClure, we understand the complexities of family law and can help you navigate the mediation process. Our team will be with you every step of the way and ensure that your children’s best interests are at the forefront of any decision made. Whether you’re going through a separation or divorce, we can provide you with the guidance and support you need to make the process as smooth as possible.
In conclusion, when making parenting arrangements during mediation, it’s important to avoid speaking poorly of your ex, guilt-tripping your children, and not communicating with your ex. By avoiding these common mistakes and seeking the help of a family law expert, you can ensure that your children’s best interests are always at the center of all discussions and arrangements. Contact Shane McClure today for a compassionate and experienced family lawyer who can help you to navigate the mediation process.