Child Custody Mediation: What You Need to Know

When you and your former spouse are tackling child custody issues, it can get challenging to reach an agreement. Reaching a settlement through child custody mediation is a more favorable path to take than conventional court litigation.

If your former spouse has let you know that he or she is getting a mediator for your child custody case, you may not be aware of what it entails.

In today’s post, we’ll talk about child custody mediation and what you can expect from this type of process. If you need help dealing with your own child custody issues, or if you know you will have to face child custody mediation in the future, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our practice.

What Is Mediation?

This is the process of finding solutions in legal disputes.

A professional mediator is equipped with the experience and knowledge to ease all interested parties into a discussion to resolve their issues.

Family law mediators can help resolve child custody issues, child support, visitation issues, and more.

How Does Child Custody Mediation Work?

Through this type of process, the former spouses and parents of a child negotiate a child custody arrangement with the assistance of a third-party child custody mediator.

The mediator is an individual who can help with settling child custody-related arguments, offering workable solutions, and notifying interested parties of child custody laws concerning their case.

Each spouse may employ their own family or divorce lawyers. These legal professionals may represent them in every mediation session or meeting. Since the mediator is a third-party person and is not involved or attached to either party, he or she can help the former spouses arrive at a fair agreement, which is what’s ultimately best for the child (or children).

Child custody mediation allows both parties to carry on with the negotiation until the child custody agreement reached is satisfactory to both – which is not like the litigation process. In the traditional and standard family court, the judge announces decisions that neither parent may agree with. This situation removes the control from the parents.

The goal of child custody mediation is to administer a fruitful discussion – a discussion where both parents can unify and work together for the best interests of their child.

This type of process does not facilitate any strife or contention. On the contrary, mediation focuses on amenable, civil, and cooperative discussions for the benefit of those involved.

The Benefits

Mediators help with different kinds of family law disputes and issues. Some of them are divorce, child support modifications, spousal modifications, visitation discussions, and child custody.

For divorcing parents tackling child custody issues, help comes in the form of mediation. It’s helpful because you and your former spouse can work together to find a solution that works best for both of you – and most importantly, for your child.

The main benefit of this process is to foster willingness and openness from both former spouses to discuss their issues. These are the benefits of using mediation to iron out child mediation issues.

  • Mediation is a quicker process than litigation.
  • It saves money, unlike contentious and lengthy court proceedings.
  • It’s generally less costly than litigation.
  • The process encourages discussion rather than disagreements.
  • Mediation offers more privacy than litigation.
  • The co-parents have more control over what parenting plan they want for their child.
  • The parents are at liberty to find solutions for their specific issues.

Utilizing the Mediation Process for Child Custody

If you and your former spouse and co-parent decide to use mediation for the child custody case, you have to know how to utilize it for your unique situation best. A child custody lawyer is knowledgeable and capable of assisting you with the process.

A lawyer experienced in mediation processes can let you know what your legal rights are. His or her sole purpose is to protect your and your child’s interests if ever your former spouse gets manipulative, argumentative, or takes advantage of the situation.

Also, if your former spouse has his or her own lawyer, you wouldn’t want to be without your own legal representation. Without legal help, you are at a massive disadvantage. Even though you would be working with a mediator throughout the process, remember that a child custody mediator is not there to prioritize and focus on your own interests – as a lawyer will.