Custody issues are typically the most difficult to address whenever parents divorce or separate. Because both parents cherish their children and want to become a part of their lives, reaching a visitation and custody arrangement can be tough. Working with an expert family law mediator could be beneficial for many parents.
What is Mediation?
Many divorcing couples turn to mediation to assist them to resolve issues including child custody, child support, and property division. Spouses employ a neutral third party (the mediator) to assist them in discussing and resolving their differences during divorce mediation. Most divorce mediators have taken specialized mediation training and are skilled family law attorneys. A mediator, unlike a court or arbitrator, does not make decisions but rather assists couples in reaching their agreements.
Steps in Child Custody Mediation
While child custody mediation is typically optional, certain states require parents to participate in a mandated mediation process even before a judge can issue court orders. The steps in the mediation procedure are the same across all situations:
- Consult the mediator
Prepare to commit to making some concessions when you arrive at mediation. Custody mediation is not the place to settle past disagreements as to what went wrong in the relationship: The priority has to be on getting your children to a decent place, and your custody arrangement should be tailored to match their needs. The mediator will meet with both parents and discuss the ground rules, which will include confidentiality rules.
- Identify and categorize the issues that are being debated
The mediator will assist you in determining which child custody issues in your case need to be handled. These concerns are usually categorized by priority, such as those that must be resolved immediately vs those that are more difficult and may have far-reaching consequences for the family.
- With a give-and-take mentality, debate solutions and
The amount of time you spend on each issue would be determined by your family’s circumstances. You must both be willing to communicate what you believe is fair and listen to the other side for the mediation session to function. The child always comes first.
- Reach, create, and sign a custody arrangement
The mediator will assist you in drafting the child custody contract once you’ve settled all of your custody difficulties. Examine this legally binding contract carefully to ensure that it appropriately matches your comprehension of the custody agreement.
Advantages of Child Custody Mediation
- Mediation, unlike the court, is a non-adversarial technique to issue solving, which means the process is less intimidating and parties are more likely to make agreements because it is not legally binding. Furthermore, because nothing you do or say in mediation would normally be used as evidence in a prospective trial, parties can speak more freely than they would in court.
- The mediator is an expert who is uninterested in either side of the dispute.
- Mediation can provide a solution faster than any trial. Mediation can be completed in a matter of weeks or months, but the trial process might take months or even years.
- Mediation can help you lay a solid foundation for the future of your partnership. Although you and your partner have broken up, you do need to be able to converse in some form. Various researches have shown that when divorced parents work together and communicate, their children fare significantly better. Keep in mind that you are leading by example for your youngster.
Consult the experienced lawyers at Ward K Johnson Law Firm for child custody cases!