Child Custody: Steps In The Mediation Process
Whenever couples choose to separate, child custody issues are usually the most difficult to deal with and resolve. Both parents want to be the best parents to their children that it has become difficult to reach a decision where the children will be staying with as well as visitation rights. For most parents, working with an experienced family attorney helps in dealing with all the issues that need to find a settlement.
What is the mediation process?
Divorce-related issues need to be settled to enable to kids to move on with the new family set-up and the changes that it comes with. Divorcing couples consult their divorce lawyer as well as their family lawyers about their concerns on child custody, visitation rights and child support; thus, the mediation process. The mediator is usually a third party that would help resolve issues of disagreements and come to terms with something that they could both work with.
Most mediators are also practicing family lawyers who have spent years dealing with couples who cannot agree with each other. Unlike any judge, the mediator does not make decisions for the couples. Instead, he assists the couples into arriving at a decision with their agreements.
How do you prepare a child for mediation?
Before you start the negotiation process, it is important that couples understand that their children will get involved; thus, it is highly recommended that they be there not as angry couples but as parents who care so much for their children. Here are a few other steps to take before the mediation process:
Step 1: Seriously consider speaking with a family lawyer about your situation. Consult with them the grounds that you want to raise during the mediation and allow them to come up with strategies that will help you achieve them. Having a solid understanding of the situation through a lawyer will make you realize the responsibilities that come with child custody, support and visitation rights.
Step 2: Make a detailed schedule of your child. Such list will help you make assertions as to what you think is the best arrangement to prevent disruption from your child’s daily schedule.
Step 3: Prepare you own proposal for the child custody and visitation rights. With such, you’d be able to make suggestions as to what you think is best for your child and what would be a convenient enough arrangement for you.
Step 4: Gather all the necessary documents concerning your child. Include medical records, school records, therapist reports and the like. All these materials will help strengthen your claim for child support.
Step 5: Be open to negotiating. You might need to give in a little, but your child will be in a better position. Perhaps the mediation will allow you and your spouse to move on from the mess and try to become good friends with your children.