Many parents who can’t seem to reach an agreement among themselves as to how to best share custody of their children try everything to reach a resolution without litigation. Mediation is often one of the many approaches co-parents try as part of this process.
Mediation can be an effective approach for resolving differences. Both parties must come into such sessions ready to focus on the task at hand. One of the more common reasons mediation fails is because co-parents allow the past to creep into conversations when they need to focus on the present and future.
How to avoid getting off track in custody mediation
Mediation can be effective in helping you and your co-parent reach decisions about custody provided that:
- You can both set aside any residual bitterness toward one another related to the divorce or the reasons for the divorce. This isn’t the time to rehash the reasons for your split.
- You can put your own self-interests to the side in favor of what’s best for your children. If there’s one common element why custody mediation fails, it’s because co-parents tend to focus on their needs and wants — not what will serve the children the best.
- You both recognize that any decision by the court is likely to be the least satisfactory outcome to your case — for all parties. Courts tend to take a “cookie-cutter” approach to custody cases, while mediation allows you to come up with custom solutions that really fit your family’s needs.
It’s never easy when you find yourself having to negotiate how much or little time you might be able to enjoy with your child. Things will become easier if you can get a parenting plan in place. Focus on reaching a resolution now so that you and your family can move forward.