If you are like most parents unhappily married to the other parent of their children, you have probably delayed filing for divorce because you don’t want to hurt your kids. Much has been made about the potential negative psychological impacts of divorce on children, but many people don’t really understand those impacts or what causes them.

Research shows that children can suffer psychological damage in a house with an unhappy or unhealthy marriage just as they can during a divorce. It is the conflict and tensions of the parents that primarily contribute to the emotional damages that divorce causes children and adolescents.

Once you understand how conflict feeds into the damages divorce causes, it’s easy to see how divorce mediation can be an ideal way for parents to protect their children.

Mediation takes the acrimony and guesswork out of divorce

For many parents, filing for divorce is only the first of many steps for the final judgment. Until the courts enter their orders related to custody and asset division, no one in the family really knows what will happen. That can lead to a lot of unnecessary fighting between former spouses and a lot of stress for everyone involved.

When couples use mediation, they can file for an uncontested divorce, which means that they already know the terms and simply need the courts to approve them. The children won’t have to testify about their custody preferences or witness their parents become increasingly angry with one another as divorce proceedings drag on. While there may still be waiting involved, it will be much less tense for everyone in the family.

Mediation can give you and your ex space to rebuild

The dissolution of your marriage may not seem like a time when you might begin a newer, healthier relationship with your ex, but that could be a side effect of divorce mediation. Although the only thing you have to do during mediation is to find compromises that work for your family on the major issues for your divorce, mediation can also be a space where you learn to respect and communicate with one another more effectively.

You can also have a fulfilling experience of working together for a positive outcome that benefits your whole family. Successful divorce mediation can help provide a foundation for a better co-parenting relationship after your divorce.