Despite your feelings about your husband or wife, you love your children. If your future former spouse feels the same way, you may decide to put aside your feelings for each other in order to reach a custody agreement that benefits the children and with which you are both satisfied.
Perhaps you attempted to work such an agreement out by yourselves but it didn't go well. Your negotiations broke down into an argument. Now, you wonder whether you can continue to work together and fear that you could end up in court relinquishing the control over the future of your family to a well-meaning judge who knows nothing about your family. Fortunately, there is another way.
Child custody mediation
No one said that you had to negotiate on your own. Involving a mediator could help keep you on track. Other advantages of using this method include the following:
- The mediator doesn't take sides. His or her function is to keep the process moving forward by helping you find new ways to communicate and work together.
- Blame has no place in mediation. Its focus is on the future, not the past.
- Mediation keeps the focus on what will work best for your children. It doesn't pit the two of you against each other.
- Using mediation could reduce the stress that comes with the divorce process. In fact, the less stressed you are, the better off your children will be.
- Reducing conflict makes the process easier for your children. Whether you mean to or not, your stress affects them.
- No one "loses" in mediation since the focus remains on the children's best interests.
- The mediation process could provide you and the other parent with a foundation upon which to build a successful co-parenting relationship post-divorce.
Another advantage to using mediation is the cost. Lengthy court battles get expensive quickly. The more you and your future ex-spouse work together, the less expensive the process is.
You may benefit from knowing that the mediator does not represent either one of you during the process. While this may be an advantage, it also creates a disadvantage. When it comes to your children, you probably want to make sure that your rights remain protected.
You wouldn't want to give up any right to see or be with your children to the other parent when it wasn't necessary. For this reason, you may want to find out what your rights and legal options are before your first mediation session.