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What to Expect with Child Custody Mediation and How to Prepare for It

Battling out child custody matters in court can be hard on both parents and children, which is one reason why child custody mediation is a good choice for many families. If you and the other parent can agree on most aspects of who will take care of the children, mediation may help you save time and money to resolve the other issues.

Here is an overview of what to expect if you decide to go the route of child custody mediation and how to be best prepared for the mediation when the time comes.

What Is Child Custody Mediation?

If you are going through a divorce that involves children, you might choose to use a trained mediator who is assigned to your case to resolve any remaining issues about caring for the kids. Mediators have experience in marriage and child counseling, as well as psychology and law, to help parents resolve their issues with the help of a neutral third party. Mediators help many parents come to an agreement on outstanding child-related issues, but if matters are still unresolved, the mediator can make recommendations to the court as well.

What to Expect for Your Child Custody Outcome

There are certain topics that are often discussed at a child custody mediation, including how the parents will share physical custody and where the children will live at all times. Legal custody is also discussed, which involves who will make decisions that affect the children. Details about when each parent will get to spend time with the children, as well as child support, are other matters that you should expect to discuss at this meeting.

Tips to Prepare for a Child Custody Mediation

To the best of your ability, go into the child custody mediation with an open mind and be willing to listen to the other parent and the mediator. Come prepared to the meeting with notes about the issues that you want to discuss so that you don’t forget something important that will affect your child.

Remember that mediation is not the place to fight over your marital problems but rather an opportunity to do what’s best for your children in a more selfless way. Focus on your child’s needs above our own and think of this meeting as something entirely separate from your divorce.

To be best prepared for your mediation, bring a proposal for custody arrangements and a time-sharing plan. Mark up a calendar that details holidays and school vacations so that you can discuss these dates in specific ways. Have information with you about the cost of school supplies, extracurricular equipment, transportation costs, and other financial aspects of child-sharing. You will also want to be prepared to discuss who will pay for the children’s clothing, food, toys, field trip fees, and recreational activities.

Legal Help with Your Child Custody Case

When it comes to child custody, it’s important to be firm on the things that matter to you while also being realistic about the fact that no one truly “wins” co-parenting disputes. Sharing children in separate homes is a complicated process, which is why you need a trustworthy and knowledgeable child custody lawyer on your side, regardless of whether you go to mediation or not. To learn more about child custody mediation and whether it’s right for your family, please contact us online or by phone at 718-233-2903.