The Divorced Dad’s Guide to Successful Divorce Mediation

In this enlightening blog, Scott Levin, an experienced divorce mediator, and father, discusses the significant benefits of mediation over litigation in divorces, especially when children are involved. Delving into how mediation helps protect children from trauma, tailor needs around each unique family, and promotes effective co-parenting, this blog is an essential read for divorced dads navigating co-parenting complexities.

Divorce Mediation: Meeting Our Children’s Expectations 

I once encountered a quote by the late Sam Johnson of SC Johnson: “We shouldn’t worry about whether we’ve lived up to the expectations of our fathers, but whether we, as fathers, have met our children’s expectations.” This quote resonated deeply with me, leading to a drastic shift in my perspective on my career as a divorce attorney. How could I explain to my children that I spent my day litigating often-contentious divorces, thereby contributing to the dissolution of another family? Believing that my family would, and should, expect more from me, I ceased litigating in 2012 and became a full-time mediator. While I promote mediation for various reasons, a major factor behind my decision to transition from litigation to the role of Chief Peacekeeper™ is that mediation is unequivocally the best approach to divorce when child custody issues arise, barring cases of domestic abuse.

Shielding Children from Trauma through Mediation

In even the most adversarial divorces, most parents can agree that mediation helps protect their children from unnecessary trauma. Considering that children often witness a considerable amount of anxiety and hostility as a marriage starts to falter, divorce mediation serves as a buffer against further turmoil. It shields the children from the conflicts that unfold in a courtroom and encourages parents to prioritize their children’s needs over their individual agendas. Multiple studies confirm better mental health outcomes for children involved in mediated agreements as opposed to litigation. However, I don’t need statistics to understand this benefit- I witness it daily in the cases I mediate.

Creating a Tailored Family-Centric Approach

Mediation offers flexible outcomes, but its ability to customize child custody arrangements is perhaps its most significant benefit. The agreement can be tailored to meet the family’s specific needs, instead of being determined by a court system that may not fully understand those needs. A mediator can also involve child specialists or therapists as required to provide feedback and assess the situation.

Fostering Effective Co-Parenting Through Mediation

Mediation supports effective co-parenting by fostering open, less contentious communication. The satisfaction derived from a mutually agreed-upon custody arrangement often results in parents being more willing to collaborate in the future for their children’s best interests. The skills developed during mediation typically enable parents to reach compromises in the post-divorce world.

To say my work as a mediator is more fulfilling than my time spent as a litigator would be an understatement. It’s not just about helping my clients through these challenging times; it’s about making my children proud. When I manage to alleviate the anxiety of other children experiencing divorce, I honor my children and my role as a father.

At, we strongly believe that everyone should have access to a peaceful resolution to their divorce. Annual Community Members will receive a 10% discount off services offered by Scott Levin, Chief Peacekeeper™ and founding partner of San Diego Divorce Mediation & Family Law through our website. You can join here if you aren’t already an Annual Community Member. Remember, mediation is not just about ending a marriage- it’s about paving the way for a healthier future for you and your children.

Are you a single dad in search of more support? Check out these resources:

More Resources:

Are you are ready to join our online Communitywe would love to have you! We have several experts in there waiting to help. Plus other divorcees you can connect and share stories with. Remember that you are not alone, even though it might feel like it at times. There are always people ready to support you- simply reach out your hand (or finger if you’re scrolling online!)

We get your struggles… We welcome you to visit our Support hub where we have created an informative and nurturing space using various modalities for you to get educated, emotionally supported and find your way. Our complimentary support groups like Coffee Talk and SOS: Support on Saturdays can be found here, along with many other helpful tools and resources.

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Essential Resources

If you’re facing legal/custody battles, a mental health crisis, an urgent medical issue, serious emotional problems, including suicidal thoughts, please seek help from the appropriate professionals near you.

Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Crisis line: 1-800-356-5395
Crisis text line: Text “help” to 741741
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) Resources Marital Life Inventory
Divorce Lifecycle Document
Divorce Process Overview


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Splitfyi, Inc. DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. All information provided should not be construed or relied upon as legal or tax advice. Individuals seeking legal or tax advice should solicit the counsel of competent legal or tax professionals knowledgeable about the divorce laws in their own geographical areas.

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