Sadly, one of the most bitter and challenging battles is over the custody of a child or children. Typically, both parents want to be able to have their children be in their lives every single day. They love them and want to see them as often as possible. But, during a divorce, parents often find it impossible to agree to anything on their own. Fortunately, with the help of a mediator or neutral third party, it does not have to be difficult for you. During child custody mediation you get the opportunity to make a plan for child custody that ends up being fair to both parties involved.
When you are preparing for a mediation, there are some important things that you should do before the child custody mediation process begins:
It is a good idea to get legal advice from a lawyer first to understand some of your legal interests and the legal pitfalls that pertains to child custody. Take time to write down the daily schedules for your child and for yourself. Be sure to write down any visitation and custody proposals. Make sure you collect any relevant records regarding your child like report cards, notes from a therapist, and so forth. While you are creating your custody proposals you should take special events into account like birthdays and holidays. You should also plan for any transportation needs when driving to and from various locations.
For the most part, mediation for child custody disputes is typically a voluntary process. However, in some states mediation becomes mandatory before courts will settle any child custody disputes.
When it comes to the steps that are part of the mediation process, they are the same in any case:
First of all, there will be an initial meeting with the parties and the mediator. The issues will be identified and categorized. Next, solutions will be discussed. The custody agreement will be prepared next.
The mediation process lasts varying amounts of time depending a variety of factors that can include the complexity of any issues, how many custody issues are on the table, and the willingness of each parent to reach a final agreement.
When you’re preparing for a divorce and mediation is your next step, approach with an open mind when you meet for the initial meeting with the parties and the mediator. Each party should be willing to listen to what everyone has to say. The focus of the meeting should only be on the child’s best interests.