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Westfield Mediation, LLC
© 2014

Sometimes when we are creating a parenting plan in divorce mediation, a divorcing couple seems puzzled by all the questions. Our plans are usually very thorough -- we like to review custody plans and holidays, as well as education, religious school, outside activities, college expenses, etc., etc.. Sometimes, couples ask "Why do we need to map everything out? Why can't we just work it out when the time comes?" "We are flexible," they claim.

Well, maybe. But, in divorce mediation, we like to create a blueprint for the family's future. The parenting plan may change as the children grow and economic situations change. So, the more flexible you are the better. Still, it is good to have a default plan in place for every day, and for the times that problems arise. The parenting plan is a place to turn when the parents do not agree about how to proceed. Also, sometimes the partner claiming that the couple is flexible is really just used to get his or her way, so the parenting plan provides protection for both parties.

In addition, as people begin to move on, and add new people into their lives, the amicable relationship that they now have may change over time, and it is good to have a plan in place. Indeed, one of the more prickly issues, is often how and when to introduce new partners to the children. We discuss this and other difficult issues upfront, so that everyone knows how to proceed when the time comes. By covering all the issues in the parenting plan - the hard ones and the easy ones -- we minimize future stresses for the parents and the kids, and the whole family does better.

For more information about Divorce Mediation contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, LMFT, at Westfield Mediation, LLC, at(908) 913-0373 or or View our website

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