BCS Mediation Blog

Mediation News and Comment

Divorced with Kids and Dreading the Holidays During a Pandemic? You Can Make it Work in Mediation

The holidays is generally a time of year many divorced parents anticipate with dread. Divorced parents can spend months on military planning for shuttling children back and forth between in-laws, step-parents etc. Unfortunately due to the pandemic, these decisions are more constrained. This may leave parents off the hook for some of the logistics. Parents might not want to put their older parents at risk for example by having a large Thanksgiving with all the kids and grandchildren present. It may also be more difficult to justify including parents’ new partners or people they are dating. Though you may be feeling relieved that you don’t have to deal with your in-laws, the downside is that there may be conflict about how to celebrate the holiday. How do you decide where your child should be for Thanksgiving, Christmas or whatever traditional holidays you are celebrating? Who gets priority? Is something really unsafe, or is one parent being over-bearing now that they have the pandemic as an excuse? Some attorneys reported that controlling ex-spouses were using the pandemic as an excuse to keep their exes on a short leash and prevent them from seeing new partners etc. Reports also suggested some parents felt frequently anxious because the other parent was behaving in unsafe ways.

In mediation you can work out these issues in a neutral environment in which you both have a say over what happens. The key thing is that you are empowered to craft your own agreement rather than dictated to by a judge. The mediators at BCS work with California divorces where couples are trying to balance complex lives, often with dual incomes or international relocation and custody issues.

Whether you are working out your parenting agreement for the first time or adjusting it based on the pandemic and other considerations, in mediation you can take a practical, thorough and mindful approach. We are West Coast mediators with legal, financial and mathematical expertise, who add a psychoanalytical dimension to our mediations, helping you and your divorcing spouse come to deeper and more lasting agreements based on your true needs.

When it comes to the holidays, there may be a risk assessment process that has to accommodate two people who have very different comfort levels with risk. There may also be a need to be sensitive to concerns like the health of older in-laws. There will also be the usual emotional considerations involving new partners and dating. The good news is that in mediation these are your decisions to make. You can’t force your divorcing spouse to do things they would be uncomfortable with, but you can have a say in making a plan that suits you both and ensures you both feel respected. Most importantly, you can plan to do what is best for your kids.

Some considerations could include where the holidays should be celebrated, whether everybody celebrates together or whether the child picks one parent (for parents with alternating years this may be less of a problem). Other considerations may include who the child is exposed to (or who they may be putting at risk). Things like whether the child gets to play with friends and whether these friends’ parents have good safety routines in place can also be a bone of contention. Certain safety practices such as handwashing etc. should be instilled in children. There may be some compromises that can be made such as a child visiting a parent but taking an outdoor walk rather than staying over. Whatever happens, mediation gives you the power to make these decisions work for both of you.

Who We Are and How We Can Help

We are caring, well-educated mediators who are skilled in applied financial mathematics, the law, psychoanalysis and game theory. We strive to efficiently comprehend your situation and its opportunities for sustainable and agreeable resolution. This may include a review of your parenting plan, spousal support calculations, community property equalization, settlement agreement, and all other aspects of your case. We can either confidentially present you with a private analysis, or mediate the conflict with both of you until resolved. Any resolution you come to will be informed by a deeper analysis of the conflict that can be psychoanalytic and/or more financially-focused. Conflict analysis can result in a more optimized understanding of the net community property, which adds value to the overall estate, benefiting you both. The sooner you can resolve your conflict, the sooner you can begin to craft a sustainable future for you and your children. Our specially trained divorce mediator-accountants can also help reveal and investigate the proven financial facts of a divorce to make a full financial appraisal of your divorce and to suggest creative solutions for financial planning after divorce. Our high-level divorce mediation services are tailored to the needs of people with complex lives or divorces that may be difficult or protracted. We can intervene to break litigation deadlocks when divorces are already underway. We work with individuals from several cultures and countries, and can help with national and international relocation issues associated with divorce. Our remote mediations are safe, socially distant and completely confidential, secured by two private servers. We are available 7 days a week and at urgent notice. Please contact us to see how we can help.

Leave a Reply