According to a story recently published in The Arizona Republic, a growing number of couples are now seeking divorces through mediation or collaboration instead of in a courtroom. The result is cheaper and faster divorces that do not automatically turn spouses into enemies. Many couples facing uncontested divorces are choosing to handle the paperwork with the help of do-it-yourself online divorce services, and negotiating the terms outside the courtroom on their own.
Agreements reached with a mediator or therapist, or through collaboration with a lawyer and a financial adviser, can also ease the negative effects of divorce on children. The trend seems to be that more divorcing couples are willing to attempt to stay on good terms with each other as they go through a divorce.
These new, more amicable divorces appear to have a lasting beneficial effect in that more parents are continuing to raise their children in partnership with each other after the divorce is finalized. A mediated divorce can help parents plan their post-divorce parenting process and make sure the obligations are shared equally and to the satisfaction of both parties. Mediated divorces have grown in popularity in the last decade and 28 states that now require divorcing couples to attend parenting classes. In California, mediation is mandatory for all contested child custody and visitation cases and other states have similar laws pending.
Therapists and counselors generally agree that a divorce doesn’t really end a relationship when the spouses have dependant children. The job of being a parent lasts for life and the children will be least impacted by a divorce if their parents can remain respectful to each other and behave in a civilized fashion during and after the split.