You and your spouse know in your hearts that the time has come to divorce. You have children and want to minimize the negative impact the divorce will have on their lives.
While a divorce can be difficult for a child to process in the best of circumstances, mediating child custody issues is one way to develop a strong basis for co-parenting, allowing you to provide your child with the best care and support they need as they adjust to their new lives after the divorce.
Mediating child custody issues
Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution process. You and your spouse will work with a neutral, third-party mediator to reach an agreement about child custody or whatever other divorce issue you want to settle. You and your spouse can sit down at the same table during mediation, or you can be in separate rooms. You can be represented by an attorney during mediation.
Mediation itself is not binding, although a settlement reached through mediation can be approved by the court and made part of your divorce decree. Mediation can help you and your spouse communicate about parenting time in a non-adversarial way. You work together, not against each other. This sets the ground for a successful co-parenting relationship in the future.
Both you and your spouse must agree to mediation, even if you are not on great terms with one another. It can help to set your differences aside and focus on your child’s best interests. Sometimes a court will order mediation.
If domestic abuse is an issue, mediation may not be safe for you or your child. If you are in fear of retaliation if you mediate or if you would be unable to speak your mind out of intimidation, mediation may not be right for you.
Still, child custody mediation offers many benefits for you and your child. It can be a healthy way to settle the issues in a positive manner that will come up while co-parenting.