Understandably, negotiating child custody can be one of the most difficult parts of a couple’s divorce or separation, as in most cases, both parents would like to remain an important part of the lives of their children. Oftentimes, parents going through a divorce or separation will use a mediation process to assist them with arising issues, including child custody. It is important that parents prepare for child custody mediation in order to negotiate the best possible outcome for themselves, and most importantly, for their children.
If you are going through child custody negotiations, it is highly recommended that you consider receiving legal advice from an experienced family law attorney. They can help make you aware of both your responsibilities and your rights throughout the process. It’s a good idea to come prepared with a list of questions for your attorney, as they can help iron out any confusion you may have. They may also be able to recommend family law mediators and can give you advice during mediation.
During the mediation process, there are certain steps that you must take in order to come to an agreement. These include meeting with your third-party mediatory, identifying all custody-related issues, discussing these issues, and signing a drafted agreement that is written with the best interest of your children in mind.
Most mediators will help you categorize your custody-related issues during the process, so that you can organize what you need to discuss and tackle them in a more efficient way. Some of these issues may include drafting a consistent custody schedule, as well as making room for exceptions like school vacations. You should also be prepared to discuss communication methods for discussing your children’s needs, as well as what the process may be to change the agreement, if requested.
Keep in mind that mediation sessions require a give and take attitude, and you will most likely need to make some concessions and compromises. Child custody negotiations can be painful and difficult, but with the right attitude, you and your former partner can make decisions that will be the most beneficial for your children.