Who Should Use Custody Mediation? Child Custody Mediation Checklist
Considering custody mediation to help resolve a child custody dispute, it is important to understand who should and should not use this process. A custody mediation checklist can help determine if this option is right for you.
This blog post will focus on all the questions you should ask yourself to determine if custody mediation is right for your family. So, let’s start with the basics.
An overview of Child Custody Mediation
Child custody mediation process is a dispute resolution where an impartial, third-party mediator helps parents work collaboratively to create a parenting plan that meets the best interests of their children. The mediator does not make decisions for the parents but facilitates communication and encourages mutual agreement on custody and visitation issues.
The benefits of child custody mediation
The child custody arrangement process has many benefits that we’re going to discuss here:
Child custody mediation is typically more cost-effective than court. Mediation typically only requires the cost of the mediator’s fee, while going to court can be much more expensive. In addition, mediation can help to avoid the costs associated with a lengthy court battle, such as attorney’s fees.
Mediation can also be much faster. The average mediation session lasts two to four hours, while a court case can take weeks or even months to resolve. In addition, mediation can often be scheduled much sooner than a court date.
Child custody mediation is typically less stressful. Mediation is often conducted in a relaxed setting, such as a conference room or office, while court proceedings can be very formal and stressful. In addition, mediation typically only involves the parties and the mediator, while court proceedings can involve a judge, attorneys, witnesses, and other people unfamiliar to the parties.
Mediation gives the parties more control over the outcome of their case than going to any court. In mediation, the parties have the opportunity to negotiate an agreement that is tailored to their specific needs and interests. In contrast, when cases go to court, the judge makes all of the decisions, and the parties have no say in what happens.
Mediation is also confidential, while court proceedings are public records. It means that anything said during mediation cannot be used against either party in court. It’s important for parents who want to protect their children from being caught in the middle of a custody battle.
How do I prepare for custody mediation if my county is a reporting county?
If you are preparing for custody mediation and your county is a reporting county, several things you can do to help ensure a successful outcome.
Get enough sleep the night before and eat breakfast or lunch before you go.
Make sure you sleep well the night before and have breakfast or lunch before you go. That will help you be calm and think more clearly during the mediation.
Moreover, try to be on time. It will show that you’re taking the process seriously.
Listen to the mediator.
The mediator is there to help you and your ex communicate better, so make sure you listen to what they say.
Although it may be difficult, be respectful to your ex during the mediation. It will go a long way in helping you reach an amazing agreement.
Listen to the other parent’s thoughts and feelings.
It’s important to understand where the other parent is coming from. Try to see things from their perspective.
You’ll not get everything you want in mediation, so be prepared to compromise. Think about what is most important to you and be willing to give on some of the less important issues.
Stay calm and be professional.
If you are calm during child custody mediation, it will help the process go more smoothly.
You will be able to listen to what the other person says and try to understand their perspective. This can help you reach a fair agreement that works for both of you.
Focus on the child’s best interest.
When preparing for child custody mediation, it is important to remember that the focus should be on the child’s best interests. You should set your conflicts and opinions aside and try to reach a good agreement that is in the child’s best interest.
Write down any concerns or questions you may have.
Studies show that people who write down their concerns or questions are more likely to get the information they need during mediation.
For example, you need to ask about the child support money you guys will split, parenting time, and the primary custody holder who will have a child for more time. This can help you feel more prepared and increase the chances of a successful outcome.
Know that you may have to compromise on child custody issues
It would help if you went into mediation with the understanding that you may have to compromise.
Not every mediation case ends up with both sides getting exactly what they want. Most cases require some degree of compromise from both parties.
Don’t forget to take breaks.
Don’t hesitate to ask for one if you feel overwhelmed or need a break. Mediation can be emotionally and mentally exhausting, so taking care of yourself is important.
Print off any documents.
It’s most important to print off any documents you think the mediator will need to see. This includes financial statements, custody schedules, and anything else that would help you understand your case.
Focus on the topic being discussed.
If you find yourself getting sidetracked, take a deep breath and focus on the topic at hand. It can be helpful to write down the main points you want to discuss before mediation so you can stay on track.
Be prepared to answer additional questions.
The mediator may have additional questions for you during mediation. Be prepared to answer them as honestly and thoroughly as possible.
These questions may include the following:
- Let me know the current state of your relationship.
- What is their temperament?
- Who will take him on school vacations?
- What are the living arrangements and visitation schedule?
- How old is the child/children?
- Where will the child/children live?
- How are the current childcare responsibilities shared?
After Child Custody Mediation
If you reach a fair agreement during child custody mediation, the mediator will help you put it in writing.
Both parents should read the agreement carefully and ensure they understand it before signing it.
Once the agreement is signed, it becomes a legally binding contract. This means that both parents are required to follow it.
If you don’t reach a fair agreement during mediation, you can either continue to try to work things out on your own or go to court.
It’s important to remember that child custody mediation is not a court case. This means the mediator does not have the power to decide for you.
Mediation aims to help you and the other parent reach a fair agreement that works for you. If you’re unable to do this, you’ll need to continue trying to work things out on your own or go to court.
FAQs About Child Custody Mediation Checklist
Which parent has physical custody?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as it will depend on the specific circumstances of each case.
How will holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions be handled?
This will also depend on the specific circumstances of each case. However, it’s important to remember that the child’s best interests should always be the priority.
How do I prepare to speak with the custody mediator?
It would be best if you took some time to write down the main points you want to discuss. It can also be helpful to bring any relevant documents, such as financial statements or custody schedules.
What happens if a parent decides to leave?
If one parent decides to leave, the other parent will be granted primary physical custody. This means that the child will live with the remaining parent full-time.
What if I can’t afford a lawyer?
Many free or low-cost legal resources are available, such as Legal Aid. You can also ask the court to appoint a lawyer for you if you can’t afford one.
Tell me the plan for picking up and dropping off the children.
Parents must devise a schedule for when the children will be picked up and dropped off. This should be done in a way that is convenient for both parents and the child.
Check Your Emotions and Ego at the Door
When going through a divorce, it’s important to remember that the goal is to reach an amazing agreement that works for you and the other parent. You’ll need to check your emotions and ego at the door.
Try to be as reasonable as possible, and keep the best interests of the child in mind at all times. This can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that you’re working towards the same goal: a healthy and happy future for your child.
How are disputes handled?
If you have a dispute, you can try to resolve it on your own or go back to mediation. If you’re still unable to agree, you can go to court.
How much Does a Child Custody Mediator Charge?
The cost of child custody mediation can vary widely but typically range from $100 to $1,000 per hour. However, many mediators offer sliding-scale fees or reduced rates for low-income families.
All you need to do is schedule an appointment with the mediator. You can do this by calling their office or sending them an email.
When you meet with the mediator, they will ask you questions about your situation and try to help you agree. They may suggest going to court if you cannot reach a fair agreement.
Wrapping Up: Child Custody Mediation Checklist
Custody mediation is a process that can benefit divorcing parents and their children.
It allows for open communication and cooperation and, most importantly, focuses on the child’s best interest.
If you are considering mediation or have been ordered to attend custody mediation, use this checklist to help make the process as smooth as possible.
And remember, if you have any questions or concerns during the custody agreement, don’t hesitate to ask your mediator.
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Contact us today if you’re ready to start the child custody mediation process. We’ll help connect you with a mediator in your area who can help you resolve your case. Click here to get started!