Legal News / Eidelman & Associates

Why Children's Best Interests Matter Most and How Mediation Protects Them

Via: ReleaseWire

Updated 10:28 AM CDT, Wed, June 19,2019

When children become involved in such disputes, the effects can be more long-term and damaging; the emotional consequences of witnessing or being the subject of aggressive behavior among close family members, including parents, can be devastating.

Allentown, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/19/2019 -- Whatever the context, legal disputes are often unpleasant, emotional and confrontational. This is intensified in disputes among families, where conflicting emotions and resentment come to the fore, cascading beyond the central dispute to also affect wider family members.

When children become involved in such disputes, the effects can be more long-term and damaging; the emotional consequences of witnessing or being the subject of aggressive behavior among close family members, including parents, can be devastating.

This is perhaps most pronounced in divorce cases, where children are often fought over in custody battles. Exposure to parental conflict, and being forced to 'choose sides', can result in children rejecting either one parent, or both, leading to a clinical psychological concept of "parental alienation". It is estimated that such emotional detachment from a parent or parents occurs in 11-15% of divorces involving children. Deliberate tactics of forcing children to side with one parent have been likened to extreme psychological maltreatment, which has been linked to depression and substance abuse in later life.

"When children suffer emotional turmoil and psychological after-effects, it is the most tragic and upsetting aspect of a legal dispute," says a spokesperson for Eidelman & Associates, the Pennsylvania-based experts in divorce litigation and mediation. "In such cases it is absolutely everyone's responsibility to ensure children are shielded as far as possible from everything that is going on.

"In divorce cases where children are involved, if there are child custody issues to resolve we would always recommend mediation as a way forward. The conventional approach for far too long is to allow such cases to follow the litigation route, where parent is set against parent and the outcome – imposed by a judge – potentially only pleases one side, or perhaps neither.

"The impact on a child of being part of such conflict is obvious. When mediation begins in these cases, the first question is always about identifying the child's best interests – and then we work from there. Whatever the nuances of these best interests – for example special educational or nutritional needs, or extracurricular activities – the mediator will see that lawyers for both parents work through each one to everyone's satisfaction."

While agreeing that children need to be kept out of parents' central conflicts, another study suggests that children can be directly involved in clarifying their best interests and specific needs, as long as a balance is maintained. The study found that while mediators felt children would feel a sense of "enlightenment" from having their say, they agreed that it carried dangers and would only be effective if conducted away from the areas of conflict between parents.

Even as far back as 1990, studies pointed towards mediation as the only effective solution in protecting children from the emotional impact of custody battles. One report that focused on cases in Louisiana stressed that the only solution is a non-aggressive mediation approach, committed to separating the core custody issues from any wider, festering resentment both parents may feel towards each other.

"Such is the fragility of children's emotional states during any legal dispute they might be involved in, it is vital that the experience of legal teams come to the fore, so that children are handled in the right manner and the impact on them is minimized," added the spokesperson. "This is the only way to keep the focus on what matters most – the best interests of those children."

About Eidelman & Associates
Dealing with divorce and family law matters exclusively, the practice was founded by Mary J.B. Eidelman. Highly respected in her field, Eidelman has established her Pennsylvania based firm as a forerunner of the state but also as one with the dedication and experience for dealing with more complex cases. With client satisfaction and concerns as the main focal point of their mission statement, Eidelman & Associates take on cases in Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, and All Surrounding Areas.

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http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/why-childrens-best-interests-matter-most-and-how-mediation-protects-them-1234869.htm

Media Relations Contact
Ed Eidelman
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Web: https://www.eidelmanassoc.com/