I often write about the emotional and financial benefits of mediating for divorcing spouses but I recently went to a presentation by Tina Lepage, Psy.D., a licensed psychologist and CEO of Lepage Associates Psychological & Psychiatric Services. She spoke about her prospective on child custody and made two important points I would like to share:

  1. Conflict: Conflict, rather than divorce, has negative effects on children.

    1. Self-image: Kids see themselves as half Mom and half Dad. Negative feelings towards one will result in negative feelings towards themselves. This is why parents have to refrain from speaking negatively about the other parent, no matter their personal feelings.

    2. Kids are still developing ways to cope with negativity and struggle to process stress

  2. Attachment: Children are happiest and healthiest when they have a positive attachment to both parents. Attachments are easiest to maintain when parents have a cooperative relationship despite their anger.

Dr. Lepage, like most psychologists and therapists, is a fan of mediation because, as she stated, mediation allows parents to NOT get caught up in the conflict. Mediation is the start for parents to begin cooperatively raising their children, not as husband and wife but as co-parents.

Thank you Dr. Lepage for affirming that mediation as a better road than litigating and lawyering up in divorce! Her website can be found at https://www.lepageassociates.com.