According to a 12 year study by Dr. Robert E. Emery, Ph.D., a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Children, Families, and the Law at the University of Virginia, Mediation can have a dramatic impact on children of divorce and their relationship with a non-residential parent. Dr. Emery summarizes his findings in the recent issue of the Family Mediation Quarterly.
The study used a coin-flip to decide whether high-conflict custody cases would try a short-term (five hour average) mediation. The results of only five hours of mediation were amazing, especially with relation to the children.
Twelve years after the average divorce in America, nonresident parents saw their children weekly in only 11% of cases. In the cases where the parties tried mediation based solely on a coin-flip 28% of nonresident parents saw their children weekly after 12 years. This is a significant difference and the difference is even more significant with reference to telephone contact (weekly telephone contact: national average 18% & mediation average 52%).
To see how these effects extended to other parental involvmenet as well (school, discipline, religous upbringing, etc.) check out the article on the MCFM's website here.
Even in high conflict cases these results suggest that just giving mediation a try can be beneficial to your child's relationship with their parents and therefore beneficial to your child's health. Tough statistics to ignore if you care about your children.
To schedule a 1-Hour Free Mediation Consultation with Kelsey & Trask, P.C. call 508.655.5980 or e-mail us.