My ex and I have been divorced for 4 years. He wants to be there for the kids without regard to our schedule. He unexpectedly showed up at Brookline High last week to cheer on our daughter and her basketball team, and as I wasn’t expecting him it caused a lot of tension which certainly isn’t good for the kids. Will a mediator be able to help us fine tune our divorce agreement and can our teenage children be part of the process?
Mediation can certainly be used to work on issues that arise with parenting plans as the children grow and as your schedules change. In general, it is important that parents be encouraged to be involved in their children’s activities that are open to the public such as games and exhibitions, regardless of parenting schedule. This may have been an issue because of the “surprise” factor and that can absolutely be addressed in mediation. It is possible to involve teenage children in mediation that involves them- it is up to the parents to agree on how that will be accomplished. Some ideas would be for the mediator to meet with the teenage child separately, or for the child to write a letter about their feelings on the matter. It may also be appropriate for a child to meet with a therapist to help formulate their needs and concerns. It is important that one parent not be alienated.