Do you remember those overhead projectors? Actually, they are still in use. I checked Amazon. In my memory, the teacher would draw on a transparent sheet, lay it on the lighted glass and it would show up on the wall. As the lesson progressed, the teacher would add more transparent sheets to demonstrate how the images layer together to produce a complete picture. As a visual learner, I always enjoyed those lessons.
As an attorney mediator, I view the divorce process as a layering of decisions and solutions. Divorcing couples go through a reorganization of the layers of their family life. Each “transparency” with its own details building on top of those created before. The end goal is a picture of a different but comfortable family life.
Divorcing parents must work out the best way for both to stay close and continue to make decisions about the education, health and well being of their growing children. In mediation, couples craft detailed schedules that take into consideration the other “transparencies” they create regarding the division of property and how to financially manage two households after divorce.
Even when couples are on the same page about parenting matters, in mediation, parenting time and other parenting responsibilities are included in their Separation Agreements. It establishes a structured framework, ensures the family operates smoothly and provides the last word in the event there’s disagreement. The younger the children, the more detailed these provisions must be.
As with most things, there isn’t a one-size-fits all solution. Every family is unique and I’ve seen many different and successful solutions. Breaking it down into different categories, such as: weekdays, weekends, holidays, school breaks, summers, birthdays and special occasions often brings clarity and organization to the discussion. Depending on your preferences, in mediation there is opportunity to consider a variety of arrangements to see what does and what does not work for your family.
If you would like to learn more about divorce mediation, please contact me for a no fee consultation.