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Study Finds Mediation May Reduce Conflict after Divorce

By Heather Baker-Mushkatel on

A study published in the Journal of Family Psychology found that mediation during the divorce process, when used to settle issues related to child custody, may affect the amount of conflict the parents experience while raising their child after the divorce is made final.

The study was performed at the University of Arizona. It followed several couples with children through their divorce processes in the 1980s, and it continued to examine their relations as the parents raised their children after their divorce was made final. Half of the couples studied had settled their child custody issues via mediation, while the other half had used litigation in a court to settle child custody disputes.

The study resolved in two major findings. First, the researchers found that couples who used mediation to settle custody issues reported having fewer conflicts with one another during the divorce process. Arranging custody, visitation, and parenting time went more smoothly when mediation was used to make the arrangements. For the couples who went through litigation, however, conflict was reportedly more frequent.

Second, the researchers found that these effects lasted for many years, as the parents continued to use the custody arrangement to raise their children. Couples who went through mediation during divorce reported less conflict after divorce than couples who went through litigation during divorce. The study did not look at couples who used both avenues to settle custody or other issues.

At Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, our experienced Surprise, Arizona child custody and divorce lawyers can help you create a divorce settlement that reflects your best interests as well as those of your children. Contact us today to learn more. Your initial consultation is free and confidential.