There are several types of divorce mediation in Minnesota. Two of the most common are child focused mediation, and child inclusive mediation. Both forms of mediation deal with the children (if any) in the divorce, but are handled in different ways.

Child Focused Mediation

In child focused mediation, the parents provide the input and make suggestions and discuss recommendations about what they believe is in the best interest of their child.  This is more of a traditional mediation approach.

Child Inclusive Mediation

In child inclusive mediation, the child has a say about what they believe they need and what they prefer for schedules, activities, and timelines.  Usually this information is gathered by a neutral third party who has experience working with children. This person is sometimes referred to as a “child specialist.”

Child inclusive mediation is not appropriate for every case.  The parents need to be open to receiving information from their child that may not be consistent with their view of the world.  The child needs to feel that their opinions will be protected and will not be used against them later on.  A skilled child specialist will be able to gather the information from the child and present it in a way that protects the child.  In Minnesota, there are a few very skilled child specialists who can work very effectively with a child and can help communicate the child’s wishes and desires to the parents.  When working with a child specialist there is usually a mediator who works with the parents too.

There are also classes offered at various locations in the Twin Cities that involve the parents and the children at various facilities in Minnesota.  They don’t necessarily help parents resolve conflict but they do stress the importance of putting children first in the divorce and serve as a strong reminder that when parents ratchet up the conflict of a divorce, the children are the ones who suffer the most.

The Best Option for your Needs

Child inclusive and child focused mediation are both great forms of mediation. The best type of mediation for your case will depend on your specific circumstances. Contact a skilled Minnesota family attorney at our firm today to find out which option is the best for you. We offer free initial consultations – (612) 294-2200.