Parenting Matters offers Co-Parenting Counseling/Mediation to help resolve parental differences and reduce the scars of battle for children and parents. This process can also be used as an alternative to costly court proceedings when modifications to parental plans need to be made. Co-parenting counseling/mediation focuses on child custody guidelines and healthy co-parent communication. The process allows parents to work together to develop a plan for parenting their children after divorce or separation with the help of a neutral 3rd party. The counseling/mediation process creates a neutral environment so parents can devise a parenting plan that is mutually acceptable to both parents. This parenting plan may be quite structured with day-to-day time tables of child schedules, as well as plans for holidays, vacations, and other special issues of the family unit. By working together through the counseling/mediation process to develop a parenting plan, battles can be avoided which can be emotionally damaging and costly. Parents can include each child’s individual needs in a mutual parental decision-making procedure. This will empower the family unit in a healthy way by reducing animosity, and costly court proceedings. Counseling/Mediation processes reduce the stress levels in the home environments and allows for expedited healthy family growth and security.
When counseling/mediation is used and a parenting plan is developed, children are able to avoid loyalty conflicts and are less likely to feel the stress of battling parents. When children are considered as individuals in parental decision-making processes, they benefit because their individual needs and perspectives are considered. Co-parent counseling/mediation gives parents the freedom to contribute to the decisions that affect their life and their child(ren)’s lives that may otherwise be overlooked through sterile court functions. Research shows that counseling/mediation can reduce litigation over custody issues. When parents participate in co-parent counseling/mediation, they are likely to reach a settlement 60 to 70% of the time. Parents are usually much more satisfied with counseling/mediation than with litigation processes. Most important, however, the use of counseling/mediation allows parents to have control over the parenting plan, whereas in adversarial litigation, the judge determines how parents spend their time with their children. With improved satisfaction, increased mutual decision-making, and decreased hostility, mediation is clearly a healthier alternative than litigation. Parents are able to save money, time, decrease emotional stress in the family unit and have more control over the outcome when counseling/mediation is used. In order for counseling/mediation processes to occur parents must be willing to create a win-win situation for all involved. For information about what a win-win situation consist of visit our Approaching Counseling/Mediation page.