Planning for the holidays begins long before they occur and starts with making the best use of our resources year-round. The expenses we incur associated with separation and divorce become even more critical because each partner is facing the loss of an income, two households, and most importantly, the needs of the children. At times like the holiday season many people look back over the funds they have spent throughout the year and wonder how they could have made better financial decisions. Choosing mediation as opposed to litigation in the dissolution of a marriage certainly can be a wise financial decision and become part of a responsible financial plan.

A responsible financial plan demands that we evaluate every expense and make it routine to question, "How can I make the most of my dollars?" Mediation is a wise decision for many reasons, only some of them being financial. But in the economic times we live in, financial considerations have become an even greater priority. Mediation, with its obvious cost savings, is one decision that parents will not look back to with regret, knowing that they made the best use of their financial resources.

Parents plan all year for the expenses of the holiday season, birthdays, graduations, and the many occasions that mean extra expense. Your mediator will guide you through the process of planning for these expenses and the responsibilities of each parent. You will find that taking the time now to do this will save time later. Because, as we all know, it isn't just money that is tight during the holidays, but time as well. Agreeing ahead of time on each parent's responsibilities will end up saving both of them time in the long run. Additionally, going into a hectic holiday season with plans firmly in place will definitely reduce the stress inherent to the holidays by reducing confusion, crisis, and confrontation.

But of all these benefits, none is more important than the benefits to the family's children. The holidays, especially the first ones after a divorce, are especially difficult for children. Nothing will make this even harder than when parents are stressed about meeting their children's expectations and their own wishes for their children. Mediation will allow parents to face challenging occasions with confidence and unity of intention because they made wise decisions at the beginning of the divorce process.

The holidays give context to the many benefits mediation can offer. A better use of family funds, reduced stress, and more time to spend with friends and family is the goal of any mediation. Your mediator, with years of experience, can plan for the many contingencies faced by divorcing couples. We all need to remember that the goal of our winter holidays is to enjoy to blessings we receive year-round and thoughtfully made plans can ensure a happy and blessed holiday.

Author's Bio: 

Brian James is an experienced Divorce and Family Mediator with offices throughout Chicagoland and Southeastern Wisconsin. For more information please visit Brian's website, or call him at (312) 524-5829.