The Best Interest of the Child and Divorce Mediation
There are many reasons that make mediated divorce better than litigated divorce. One of the leading reasons is the fact that more often than not, divorce mediation has a number of ground rules set up between the spouses to help steer the process in the correct direction. These ground rules help the couples focus on the long term solutions instead of short term victories throughout the process. There can be a lot of ground rules, which may include having less amount of direct accusations, no use of foul language or derogatory remarks or maintaining the best interest of the child.
The Best Interest of the Child
This is one of the most commonly used phrases in the divorce world, especially in family law and child custody cases. Yet, do you know what this phrase really means? When you look at the legal side of things, this is a rather complex area of law, since it includes entitlements, parental rights, child visitation, custodial parent residency, etc. The family courts in California use the principle of child’s best interest in deciding a variety of cases and mediators also keep it at the top of their agenda in divorce mediations.
Yet before we talk about it more, let’s take a brief look at the standard of this best interest rule that needs to be considered before any decision is taken:
- The type of contact that exists between the parents
- Any history of child abuse either emotional, physical or mental
- The levels of child safety, welfare and health
- Any history of drug, alcohol or substance abuse by either parent
- Criminal record of the parents
While these legal definitions do form the basis of the concept, but it is important to realize that Orange County divorce mediators and spouses are not bounded by these legal definitions. For parents who take part in divorce mediations, the parents can look at the existing child-parent relation through the best interest canvas, but it is by no means mandatory.
In divorce and custody mediation, the standard of the child’s best interest is not only depends upon the legal considerations, it also includes ethical and moral considerations. More often than not, each child is different from the other; hence, divorce mediations allow the parents to mutually determine what’s best for the child considering his/her individual case.
According to recent studies on children, the child best flourishes in environments where their surroundings are peaceful and full of harmony. The key to harvesting the child’s best growth in addition to looking for his/her best interest is to have effective and frequent communications with them as well as keeping them away from the spousal bitterness of a divorce.
To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”