Some couples sail through their divorce with nary a whimper of discontent, but those situations can be rare. When you consider the potential landmines waiting during the divorce process, it's no wonder that things can get ugly and drag on and on. If you and your spouse don't agree on one or more divorce issues, mediation might be right for you. Read on and find out if divorce and child custody mediation could bring your divorce to a peaceful resolution
Contested Child Custody
Emotions run high when children are involved, and child custody disagreements can happen even when the couple gets along fairly well. Family court judges often reach out for help during contested child custody situations and mediation can be the answer for many.
What Is Mediation?
This form of resolving issues takes the problem out of the hands of the court, at least temporarily. A mediator is a trained professional who knows the law and uses their skills to identify and solve problems. Though you and your spouse will likely bear the cost of a mediation, the cost might be far more if you attempt to battle the issue out in court. Read below for some tips on making the most of your child custody mediation process:
1. Be open, flexible, and prepared to compromise.
2. Let go of your past differences and place the needs of your child at the forefront of the discussion. This is no time to dwell on the negative issues that led to the divorce.
3. Take some time and think about the parenting plan that will work best for your child, you, and your spouse. Create a visitation plan that makes allowances for work, school, and other obligations.
4. Keep in mind that a mediation is not a legal proceeding. Your mediator keeps all mediation discussions confidential, and no part of it is ever introduced in court. On the other hand, it is up to you and your spouse to form an agreement – mediators have no powers to force decisions or provide legal advice.
5. Mediators handle problems both big and small, but the process works best if some issues are prioritized, and others are left for last. Some issues may be time-sensitive, like an upcoming school holiday, for example.
6. Keep the best interest of your child in your thoughts at all times.
7. The final agreement will be entered into your divorce agreement and become final with rest of the provisions.
Speak to your family law attorney to learn more.