Are you sure that you know everything about child custody mediation?
First of all, let us clarify what child custody mediation means.
Child custody mediation definition
When both parents, accompanied by their attorneys, meet with a neutral third party to discuss issues related to child custody is called mediation. It is mostly required that any discussions during this process remain confidential.
Let us say you agree to let the other parent have custody and state as part of the agreement that you are doing so because she/he is a good parent. As a result, you will have an extremely difficult time seeking full custody later in your custody dispute.
Mediators see both parties together
Normally mediators see both parents together during the child custody mediation. An exception can be when one party alleges there has been recent domestic violence with the other parent. In this case, the parties will have separate appointments.
Mediation and your attorney
Very important is to know very clearly what you to want and to inform your attorney. Imagine how unpleasant it could be if your attorney walks in and tells the mediator you just want visitations when in actuality, you want full custody. So you and your attorney need to be on exactly the same page. It is a good idea to work out a backup plan with your attorney. The aim is to you know what your next steps should be if your ideal scenario starts to seem impossible.
Mediation is confidential
Keep in mind that mediation is a confidential process. What is said and offered in mediation remains confidential unless the parties reach an agreement. All discussions, offers, and negotiations remain confidential and inadmissible in court unless an agreement is reached.
Entering mediation without having enough information
You should never ever enter the child custody mediation blindly as the agreements you reach in the mediation can influence your child custody dispute. Just gather as much information as you can before you attend. You may end up agreeing to a set of facts that you would never agree with had you known other negative factors.
Let us say the other parent has had multiple referrals to a children’s protective agency. Do not wait that the agency that investigated the referral should notify you about everything. Very often they only contact the offending parent and the individual who reported the neglect or abuse. So please learn as much as you can before entering mediation.
Be willing to listen
The best way to find yourself in e better position is being willing to listen to possible solutions. If you approach the process with an open mind mediation will work best. The goal of any child custody dispute is to create a situation that will truly be healthy for your kid.
Be willing to compromise
The last thing you want is to let your issues with your spouse affect you when it comes to child custody mediation. You just have to be smart enough to leave all those things at the door. Let us agree that you have both done things that have brought you to this day. There is no sense in rehashing those things now. What you want is the happiness of your child. Your personal issues with your wife/husband should not matter during mediation.
Think about the best solution for your child
Thinking only about how you are going to win at the other parent’s expense is not the right thing to do. Your main concern is thinking about creating a situation that allows your child to win while creating a scenario you can both live with. You do not want to end up in court.
Children attending mediation
You just have to ask your mediator if they would like to interview your child. Sometimes the mediator may request that you bring the child/children for an interview (this can take place on an individual basis).
They say mediation is an effective tool for resolving child custody matters without causing more heartache for your child. Keep in mind that you do not want to face poor planning issues. It can result in you being blind-sided on issues critical to your child custody case.
So once again please learn what the issues are and how you are willing to resolve them before you attend mediation. Go through the process of mediation with the best thought for your child and his/her future in your head. We wish you good luck.