In most cases, mediation is a much better option for determining child custody arrangements than a drawn-out court battle, it can:
- result in a faster resolution;
- encourages communication between both parties; and
- be much cheaper than having the courts settle your custody matters.
Understanding How Mediation Works
Child custody mediation can be a good alternative to trial. The process involves a neutral mediator who encourages communication between the parties in an unbiased manner.
At a mediation meeting, the parties generally present are:
- the mediator;
- both parents; and
- each parent’s attorney.
The mediator’s goal is to invoke open discussion and help the parents come to a middle ground. He or she does not make decisions or pass judgements, and for many people, the meetings are much less intimidating than a courtroom setting.
The parents are encouraged to work together to come up with solutions that might work for their family. In some cases, mediation can help a couple settle on custody arrangements in mere hours, whereas if the case went through litigation, it could take days or weeks.
The Benefits of Mediation for Child Custody Disputes
As aforementioned, one of the benefits of mediation is that parents may reach a child custody agreement must faster than if they couple took the issue to the judge. This means less stress and quicker closure. Because the process is handled relatively expeditiously, it’s also usually must less expensive than litigation.
Another benefit of mediation is that the parents get to make the decisions regarding the upbringing of their children. The mediator is only a facilitator; he or she does not make any decisions. If the case goes to court, it will be a judge who will make decisions that affect the children’s lives for years to come.
Finally, mediation can help parents learn to keep the lines of communication open, which is important to successful co-parenting. Litigation might breed contempt; mediation fosters compromise.
When Mediation Isn’t Working
Mediation can be very useful when couples are attempting to come up with a child custody agreement. However, there has to be a willingness to compromise for mediation to work. If one parent isn’t flexible with time, days, or transportation, the case will stall.
Divorce can get very ugly, and unfortunately, parents’ judgment can become clouded by the anger and hurt that comes with divorce. Both parents must be willing to put their own emotions surrounding the marital relationship on the back burner, and put their children’s best interests first during mediation.
If they are unable to do so, they will arrive at an impasse. When this occurs, the parents may forgo further mediation, take the case to trial, and allow the courts to decide what’s in the best interests of the children.
Our Attorneys Can Represent Your Rights in Child Custody Mediation
If you are trying to arrive at a child custody agreement in Dallas, our divorce attorneys at Warren & Migliaccio can help. We can offer practical legal advice, help you secure a mediator, and then help prepare your case should it go to trial. Contact us today at 888-584-9614 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.