For divorced parent need to work together to create a fair parenting plan, the perfect process to make it happen is through child custody mediation. Since it can be difficult to make decisions about what is best for a child as divorced parents, this type of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) brings in a neutral third party to facilitate discussion and help parents communicate and compromise. The ideal environment to discuss delicate and complicated matters, such as child custody, is a peaceful and non-combative one, and mediation fosters this.
Preparing for Mediation
There are some important things you should do to prepare for the session if you and your former spouse plan to use mediation to determine child custody arrangements. Having an open mind and being ready to listen are important aspects of the process that both parents should have. If you do, the chances that your case will end up in court are reduced, and mediation is much more likely to succeed. This process is almost always better than court because it leaves parents in control of the situation and is less expensive. Settling child custody issues this way also paves the way for the future and ensures that they will be able to communicate and make important child-rearing even without third-party intervention.
Remember the Purpose of Mediation
In addition to having an open mind, come prepared with details about your schedule and your child’s schedule. Before the first meeting, each parent can create a few potential schedules that they can present and discuss to each other. The goal is to keep the process focused on what is best for your child. Any hard feelings you might have for your former spouse, as well as your personal needs, will have to be put aside.
Put Your Children First
It is also important to separate the issues surrounding your divorce proceedings, especially those that are still fresh and in motion, from those involved in your child custody mediation. Custody mediation is intended to focus on the time your child spends with each of you, so for the time being, disregard issues concerning child support.
Extra attention will also have to be paid to issues regarding children with special needs. If there are medical concerns, as well as any details regarding special classes, recreational activities, or daycare, it is necessary to bring information from your child’s pediatrician. Through mediation, child custody becomes a highly customizable plan that is as unique as the family designing it.
Divorce is not easy and it is further complicated if there are children involved. However, if you work together, you can create the best arrangement that ensures the children spend time with both parents in a safe and healthy environment.