Child custody is one of the most argued issues during divorce proceedings. Family court uses the common model of what is in the best interests of a child when determining custody arrangements. This model usually suggests that maximized time spent with both parents is almost always in the child’s best interests. While this belief is fairly straightforward and easy to understand, many divorcing parents still argue over custody. These heated arguments and hurt feelings very often spill over into divorcing parent’s home lives. In order to avoid the damaging effects this anger can have on children, divorcing parents may want to consider mediation as a way to reach a custody agreement.
A mediator is a neutral third-party that is not professionally or personally invested in either parent. The process of mediation uses a collaborative, non-adversarial way to reach a solution. Since the mediation process is more of a calm approach, divorcing parents may be more apt to communicate and agree with certain suggestions during these meetings.
By using mediation as a source of problem-solving, divorcing parents may reach a resolution faster than they would have during the typical divorce process. Many family courts allow divorcing parents to use mediation as a less expensive and quicker means to resolve family law issues.
Divorcing parents may also benefit from the mediation process by working through their communication issues in an amicable and civil way. A successful mediation may actually set the tone for a divorced couple’s co-parenting style.
Like other collaborative approaches to family law, mediation may not work for every divorcing couple. Issues that are not successfully resolved through mediation may require the representation of a divorce attorney.