Top 10 Reasons to Use a Parenting Plan: Mediation in Divorce
By Tara Fass, MFT and Diana Mercer, Attorney-Mediator
The best predictor of the well-being of children involved in a divorce is the amount of conflict between parents.
Mediation can humanize the divorce process by bringing both parents together to create a parenting plan that
serves the best interests of their children.
Through mediation, parental conflicts are more likely to be resolved, resulting in a more peaceful post-
divorce family life.
Mediation helps parents create thoughtful and child-focused parenting plans that are tailor-made to suit their
children’s changing emotional, developmental and temperamental needs as well as the family’s schedule.
By thinking through and discussing the parenting plan, possible problems can be identified and resolved
before the court enters the final judgment.
Mediation creates opportunities for parents to work together and build on their strengths as they redefine the
parental unit within the family. Not surprisingly, parents who model good conflict resolution skills raise
children with better conflict resolution skills.
A detailed parenting plan sends a message to others, including the children, new partners, and school and
court personnel, that parenting is an important priority for both parents, even if one parent assumes more
hands-on time with the children.
A detailed and thorough parenting plan pre-empts “He Said/She Said” arguments if differing views of the co-
parenting history emerge.
Agreements, including modifications, create a written record of what was mutually agreed to when one or
both parents were thinking more clearly about the issues involved in successful and co-operative co-
A detailed parenting plan provides a blueprint for resolving differences without having to go to court if
circumstances change, or if new partners or reluctant children want to unilaterally modify the plan.
Although co-parents may deviate from the