Preparation is Needed Before You Go in For Child Custody Mediation
Nothing about going through a divorce is easy. If both parties involved were emotionally invested in one another, the process will be painful as they divide their assets and try to move on without each other. If there is a child or several children as a result of their union, the emotional and practical considerations are even more complicated. Children have complex needs and divorcing couples must learn to cooperate as separate parents to ensure the best outcome for their kids.Mediation is one way to minimize the pain and complication of divorce. Mediation specific to child custody is beneficial to the divorcing parties and is even more beneficial to children involved, who will be sensitive to the situation.
What is Child Custody Mediation?
Child custody mediation is meeting with a trained neutral 3rd party to create and agree to fair terms of child custody during a divorce. Child custody mediation can take weeks and months, or can be over in a matter of hours – depending on where the divorcing parties are emotionally, and how they relate to each other. Any type of mediation will be most successful with open minds, thoughtful listening, and reasonable requests. Bear in mind that mediation will always be your best chance of maintaining control over your divorce proceedings. Without mediation, it will be a battle between your lawyer, and your spouse’s lawyer, and both attorneys jobs are to get as much for you as they can without bending to the requests of the other party. Mediation is about negotiation, giving, and taking.
What is the Process for Child Custody Mediation?
Child custody mediation begins with an initial meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to introduce yourself to the mediator (or mediators), and give them a chance to get a sense of who both of you are, and a sense of your needs. Mediation meetings are not couple’s therapy sessions – this is not about saving your marriage, but it is about making sure that your children are placed into the best situation for the best outcome in light of the misfortune of your divorce. Then initial meeting is a good place for suggestions, and the expression of goals as well. If both parents want full custody of the child or children, it can make for a difficult situation. Mediation is the place for both parents to propose a parenting schedule, and figure out how time will be shared between homes or perhaps which home would be best for the children to live in with full-time, and why. Mediation is also the place where you will organize all of your issues when it comes to the children, including possible issues such as where they will attend church, who will be responsible for checking homework has been done, how communication will take place, and how holidays will work.
How Much Does Mediation Cost?
The cost of mediation varies depending on each couple’s ability to move toward agreement quickly and whether they can communicate effectively between sessions without the mediator present. Some courts offer complimentary mediation, but court-appointed mediators may not have all of the resources to fit your needs and they are generally limited to a single brief meeting. If this is the case, contacting a local professional mediator is the best way to get assistance for your unique situation.