The Parenting Agreement
Michael Lodge, NCPM, CRTP - Nationally Certified Professional Mediator - www.lodge-co.com
Over the last three weeks I have been contacted by new clients wanting to negotiate a separation agreement or re-negotiate the agreement when it pertains to child care and parenting agreements. And some did not understand what they were signing and want help understanding what they signed and maybe change it slightly. Perhaps, people sat around not doing anything during Covid and came up with new wants because they had time to think about it. Maybe not so good.
The other issue is that some have decided that they want out of the marriage. So separation and parenting agreements are needed, to set up some rules during the separation. Some parents come into the mediation session with me steaming mad and other come in with a real desire to set up some rules for the parents to go by during their separation. I like those kinds of parents.
You would be surprised of the role of the Mediator in a parenting planning, the mediator becomes the educator. The mediator focuses on the needs of both the parents and the children. One part of this is to educate the clients about their new parent roles. In my sessions, I share my expertise with the clients, acting sometimes as a mediator and sometimes as an educator, but always in a way that helps the clients stay in charge of their decisions.
As a mediator I can be helpful as an educator to the parents about the future developmental needs of their children. I will share relevant information in general terms but no in a therapeutic way. In fact I have told parents I have not their therapist. Children at each age group have different responses to separation and divorce and different needs from their parents. It is important that a mediator knows this information so that the education process of the mediation means something to the parent(s).
Mediators can make a positive impact in working through the separation, parenting agreements, and through to the divorce. If everyone understands the rules and lives by them, the process is no longer just a process it is a meaningful way to help the children cope with the whole experience. It helps the parents to. Sometimes, even after the divorce, the parenting agreements needs to be revisited.
A great quote that I have found is, "Husbands and wives divorce but family's never do".
If you are going through a separation and need to sit with a mediator to help you, contact my office at: 305.824.2963
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Michael Lodge is a Nationally Certified Professional Mediator specializing in business disputes, as well as family conflicts. He has written three books and hosts an international podcast on IHeartRadio and other podcast media stations.