Child custody mediation is a process through which you and the other parent engage directly to come to a solution regarding the custodial arrangements of the child. During the mediation process and depending on your state’s rules, you may or may not have legal counsel present. But you can always seek the advice of an attorney before and after the mediation.
Child custody mediation is a way for the parents to try and present a joint plan to the court and hopefully get it approved. But it is also a process that is fraught with issues because parents often find it difficult to directly engage with their former spouse over how to raise their child ? understandably a sensitive topic. To help you through the process, here are a few tips.
First, go to the meeting prepared. It may sound stupid, but make a list of your concerns. Take some time and jot them down. You can bring the paper to the mediation and ensure that these issues are discussed. Organizing your thoughts ensures that you remember to bring them all up and that they aren’t dismissed or forgotten by the other spouse.
Second, prepare sample custody schedules and agreements. This exercise helps you identify what you want. Think through these sample schedules and come up with a reasonable solution that accommodates both of your schedules. Don’t forget to take into account your child’s school, holidays, and possible vacations.
As you can see, preparing for a child custody dispute is complicated. The child custody mediation is only one small facet of the overall divorce and custody dispute. You may want to speak to a lawyer to help you organize your thoughts and prepare a strategy. A lawyer can make sure that you don’t forget anything.