Mediation encourages a collaborative process between divorcing spouses. But mediation does not have to be limited to dividing up the marital property and debts, it can also contribute to child custody disputes. Using mediation to resolve child custody disputes is a relatively new legal invention but it is gaining traction. This post will go over the pros and cons of mediation for child custody disputes and if it may be a good fit for you.
Mediation has a few advantages over going to court. The first, and most touted, is that it is less expensive and faster. It saves hours in attorney billable hours and court costs. But it is a collaborative process. Both you and your ex-partner need to want the process to work. You don’t have to agree (that is why you are getting a divorce or breaking up) but you do need to want to make the mediation process works.
Mediation can create the framework for a more amicable split and it is almost always best for the children if you and the other parent maintain, at least, cordial relations. You will be in each other’s lives for years as you jointly raise the children. Mediation often serves as the balm that brings parents together in the best interests of their children.
Mediation uses a neutral third party who focuses on dispute resolution techniques. The mediator will encourage both of you to understand each other’s positions. He or she will encourage compromise and cooperative solutions. It is a good person to act as a go-between, even if you are feeling acrimonious.
If you are involved in a child custody dispute then you may want to speak to an attorney, even if you are considering mediation. Mediation is a great process to save you money, time and emotional angst but in the end having an attorney review the agreement to ensure that it says everything that you agreed to is a safe idea. Your attorney is always on your side, so you can always rest assured that someone is watching your back.