When We Left Your Office, Everything Fell Into Place By Don Sinkov

{3:00 minutes to read} It was a very complicated situation: The couple had been to lawyers and court. There were still issues of custody and visitation. One of the spouses had been very ill and was undergoing treatments. The other spouse had been in psychotherapy for a number of years. It was a very complicated situation.

The lawyers couldn’t come up with anything other than a standard agreement, but the agreement really didn’t address what was underlying the custody issues—and how these folks, who had very different ideas about parenting, could co-parent a child. Although they had a settlement agreement in place, they wanted it modified and sent to the court.

When I met with them and said, “Look, before we start creating legal documents, and hopefully bring some finality to these issues, tell me about your child. Since the child’s needs are going to be changing as she grows, you will have to make adjustments to your parenting plan, which is pretty normal. But for now, let’s discuss how you can work together so each of you can spend as much time as you can with the child. How does that sound?

They were kind of surprised by this because they were used to their lawyers deciding things. “Does this mean we can be flexible and try to figure out things as we go along?

I answered, “Yes. Let’s put a temporary parenting plan in place. We’re not going to sign anything or create legal documents. Once you agree on this parenting plan, I will write it out and email it to you both. You can then try it for a month or so and see how it works.”

Well, we did that, and because, during the mediation process, there was an atmosphere of equal decision-making, the parenting plan that was constructed by the parents, not the attorneys, worked. A few weeks later, they called and said, “When we left your office, for the first time, we felt relaxed and hopeful that this might work. We went shopping for our child and made decisions on what to purchase together. Since then it’s been amazing. We are able to talk to each other. There are no more crazy emails or texting.

We are cooperating with each other and are both much happier and hopeful that we are starting on a new journey as parents. Thank you so much for all your help. Now we understand why so many couples are choosing mediation.”

Don Sinkov

Don Sinkov
Your Divorce Mediator
Westchester County, NY
Putnam County, NY
Phone: (914) 588-6258
eMail: Info@YourDivorceMediator.com