It’s no secret. Separation can be messy. After building so much together, there will undoubtedly be emotions and conflict involved. Splitting from a long-term partner is anything but easy and often comes with a multitude of unintended consequences. The goal of mediation is to reduce the conflict and negative outcomes – especially when it comes to children.

Gabor Maté, a world-renowned physician specializing in family practice, childhood development and trauma, says it best with this quote:

Children are a great incentive and impetus for parents to learn about themselves, about each other and about life itself. Unfortunately, much of the learning may occur at their expense.

This quote stands out to me. While separation may be a hard experience for all involved, I believe that people can use these experiences to learn more about themselves, their relationships, and often come out on the other side better human beings. Mental health improves. One’s ability to communicate improves. At the end of the day, the outcomes of the separation can improve through mediation.

We know that going through these periods of growth can be traumatic, and negatively impact the children caught in the middle of the conflict. It is hard to understand such complex feelings and emotions as an adult, let alone as a child. That’s why mediation is such an important tool for separating couples. If we do our absolute best to keep children out of the conflict through open communication, collaborative strategies, and a mature mindset we can lessen the negative effects on those we care about most.

Every situation is different. This blog post is not intended to provide legal advice. Contact us for further help on your unique parental dispute.

Artwork by Megan Hewson. View her work at