Divorce privacy! Imagine that.
When spouses litigate their divorces in court, family matters that should remain private, especially for the sake of children, are played out on the public stage. This is one more reason that frustration builds and conflict often explodes.
In a joint statement at the time their divorce was announced, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, parents to three young children, declared: “We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time . . . this will be our only comment on this private, family matter.”
To the dismay of the tabloids and fans, virtually no details of the Affleck-Garner divorce have been made public. But the benefit to their family has been priceless.
Custody battles in court often turn into a public clash to prove who is the better parent. This fails to consider what is actually best for children caught in the middle. Contentious litigation causes ongoing high conflict between parents, which is the root cause of long-term psychological issues in children of divorce.
Mediation lowers conflict and lays a foundation for healthy post-divorce co-parenting and communication. Parents need a divorce process that encourages reasonableness and problem solving, rather than a system that escalates conflict and turns spouses into permanent enemies. The courtroom experience will virtually never result in healthy co-parenting after divorce. However, divorce mediation provides the opportunity to truly put children first.
As a result, we see children of mediated divorces maintaining closer and healthier relationships with parents, compared to children of litigated divorces. We also see spouses retaining their assets, rather than sinking them into legal fees. The privacy of divorce mediation also allows the space for families to heal during and after divorce.
In the end, The National Enquirer and US Weekly are the biggest losers when celebrities use divorce mediation. But celebrities shouldn’t be the only ones to take advantage of mediation privacy. All divorcing spouses—of any profession and every socio-economic background—should consider the benefits of divorce mediation. A healthy and private divorce is a choice.
Michael Aurit, J.D., M.D.R., and Karen Aurit, M.A., help spouses avoid a harmful divorce war. They guide couples through a healthier, more peaceful divorce so that spouses never set foot in a courtroom. As co-founders of The Aurit Center For Divorce Mediation, in Phoenix, Arizona, the team provides a confidential, affordable, and low stress process that reduces conflict. Spouses stay in control of their own personalized divorce terms and reach mutual agreements on all issues. The Aurit Center handles the entire divorce from beginning to end. Most importantly, divorce mediation protects the health and emotional well-being of children.