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Effective Child Custody Mediation Arrangements (Parenting Plans)

October 29, 2018 /

When parents decidechild custody mediation to separate or divorce, child custody is undoubtedly one of the most difficult issues to resolve. In most instances, both parents demand to be a central part of their kid’s lives, which makes reaching a custody agreement an arduous task. Child custody disputes can sometimes be lengthy and adversarial, particularly in the middle of a divorce. Fortunately, professional mediators can help separating or divorcing couples to reach custody agreements in a stress-free, time conscious and affordable manner using child custody mediation techniques.

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What Does Child Custody Mediation Involve?

Matters of divorce and child custody can be resolved out of court when the conditions allow it. Nowadays, courts are urging parents to leverage alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs to settle child custody disputes. While child custody mediation, a type of ADE, is usually voluntary, some states demand disputing parties to go through the mediation process before any court orders on custody disputes are issued by a judge.

Knowing what the mediation process entails can help you prepare adequately for the real mediation. Both parents, including their lawyers if they have them, meet with a competent mediator to discuss and attempt to find a lasting solution to child custody related issues. Negotiations that happen during mediation are largely confidential; meaning what is discussed during mediation meetings cannot be administered in court in case the dispute leads to litigation.

The role of mediators is to help parents pinpoint the disputed issues, debate solutions, and try to reach a custody agreement. If you are planning to participate in child custody mediation, be ready to debate the contested matters and make concessions.

What Does a Child Custody Mediator Do?

The mediator usually commences the mediation by bringing all the parties together and clarifying the ground rules, especially rules concerning confidentiality. The mediator will then discuss with each individual parent about their position concerning the visitation program and any exclusions to the program, as well as ways each parent plans to use to improve their communication and co-parenting with the other parent. The mediator may also touch on special issues like religion, schooling, medical care, and extracurricular activities, including adjustment of any custody arrangement in the future to accommodate changes in circumstances.

The mediator will want to know the reservations you have with the parenting of the other parent. Be ready to point out and explain your reservations, including recommending the strategies the other parent can employ to address those concerns. Tell your mediator how your personal life and home will influence and enhance the lives of your children – topics usually range from living conditions, standards of children’s bedrooms, to the role of both nuclear and extended family in your children’s lives. The mediator will leverage the above factors to help you and the kid’s other parent settle for a custody arrangement that works for everyone, kids and parents alike.

How Can a Professional Mediator Streamline Child Custody Mediation?

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  1. Makes the Process as Collaborative as Possible

    The mediator ensures the separating or divorcing parents share a common goal: to do what is right for their kids. Contrary to the adversarial divorce process, child custody mediation steered by an experienced mediator concentrates on what is right for the kids. The expert will help you devise a parenting schedule that allows both parents to participate actively in the children’s lives.

  2. Reduces Conflict

    A knowledgeable mediator will assist you and your ex-spouse gain new skills for communicating effectively with one another. With time, these skills will significantly minimize the pressure on all of you. It is much easier to concentrate on what is important for the kids when you and your ex-partner are no longer in conflict.

  3. Gives You Peace of Mind

    The stress that comes with an adversarial divorce can result in insomnia, lack of concentration, and elevated impatience with your kids. If you stay in an endless state of dispute, this response is inevitable. A child custody mediator will reduce your overall stress by offering you the tools to help you resolve your conflicts and focus on making your future better.

  4. Helps You Develop a Good Working Relationship with Your Ex-spouse

    Learning to work in close collaboration with your ex-spouse is an important step towards giving your children a better life. A mediator will help you improve the way you communicate with each other and create a feasible plan for the future.

  5. Generates a Win-Win Result

    The goal of a mediator is to develop a program that is ideal for the children. In non-abusive situations, both parents have rights to be in the life of their kids. The professional mediator focuses on eliminating a lot of unnecessary quarrelling and assists parents to develop an effective working relationship that enables the children to prosper.

Mediation is a reliable tool when it comes to solving child custody disputes without triggering additional stress and cost. Parents who work closely with one another through mediation help lay a strong foundation that allows them to maintain an effective co-parenting relationship for not only themselves but also their children. If you and your kid’s other parent are divorcing or separating, you should consult an experienced mediator to take you through the entire mediation process.

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