Determining custody after a divorce is one of the most delicate points that need to be decided. Letting the court make this decision is unlikely to result in the ideal outcome for you and your children. Because of this, mediation is often the preferred method of deciding custody with your spouse. Badmouthing your ex or talking about what you deserve will not help the process.
When going through the mediation process, it is critical that you understand the best approach to take, including what you shouldn’t say. At The Aberdeen Law Firm, we can advise you before and during meditation to help put you in the best position during negotiations. Contact us today by phone or through our website to schedule a free consultation with a child custody lawyer.
Deciding Custody Through Mediation
When splitting from a spouse with whom you have children, the decision of custody is the most important detail that needs to be hammered out. Mediation is typically going to be the best option for deciding child custody as it offers you and your ex a chance to create a custom custody agreement that works best for your children.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) where both parties meet with an independent third-party mediator, who will attempt to help foster productive negotiations where you will work to reach agreements on a wide variety of issues and hopefully avoid leaving decisions regarding the dissolution of your marriage up to the court.
While a mediator is a trained professional, they will not make a ruling on your case as a judge or arbitrator would. They merely help steer you and your former partner in the right direction so you can be in charge of your future. While you should bring your own attorney to mediation to help protect your rights, the final decisions are up to you and your co-parent.
For a free legal consultation, call (855) 593-1497
Things to Avoid Saying and Doing During Child Custody Mediation
When attempting to come to an agreement regarding child custody during the mediation process, there are several things to keep in mind that can increase your chances of a successful mediation.
Don’t Speak Negatively
You don’t want to speak negatively about your former partner during the mediation process. You need to remember that mediation is a cooperative effort to reach a divorce agreement. The mediator does not act as a judge, so painting your spouse in a negative light will not help you “win” custody.
Instead, you should speak about the ways in which a particular arrangement would most benefit your children.
Don’t Talk About Your Rights
When discussing child custody during mediation, the mediator will be interested in helping you find an agreement that is in the best interest of your child. They will not care about what you consider to be your parental rights, and focusing on that rather than what is best for your child will not help you in negotiations.
Keep Your Cool
Interrupting your ex or trying to place the blame on them for any issues will make achieving a resolution through mediation much more difficult. Keep calm throughout the process to increase your chances of reaching a deal.
Use Inclusive Language
When referring to your children with your ex and the mediator, it is important to use inclusive language such as “our children” rather than “my children.”
Don’t Talk About Other Issues When Dealing With Child Custody
When deciding on the issue of custody, it is essential to stay focused on the topic. You will review other issues, such as division of property, alimony, and child support, at another point in the mediation process.
In addition to being mindful of what you say during mediation, you also need to be aware of your actions. Arriving on time, being well groomed, and wearing business casual attire can go a long way toward making a good first impression.
While the mediator is there to help you reach an agreement with your co-parent rather than take sides, they still need to see that you are fit to take care of your child.
It is essential that you come prepared with any necessary paperwork, notes regarding the issues you would like to address during mediation, and an outline of a custody arrangement that you believe would be fair for your situation and the well-being of your children.
Don’t Sign a Custody Agreement Without Consulting Your Lawyer
It is important that you review any potential agreement reached in mediation with your divorce attorney before signing anything. Attempting to adjust the agreement once both parties have signed can prove challenging.
Go Into Mediation With an Open Mind
When entering child custody mediation, it is critical that you remember that the most important thing is the best interests of your child. While you will want as much time with your child as possible, mediation is a compromise, and you will not get everything you want. Working toward an agreement that ensures both parties are present in the lives of the children is critical.
Your mediator will help by offering potential solutions that you can work off to find the right answer for your situation.
Secure the Services of an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today
At The Aberdeen Law Firm, we have helped countless clients navigate their way through the child custody mediation process. Our team of experienced child custody attorneys can help ensure you reach an agreement that works both for you and your children.
Contact us today by phone or through our website and schedule a free case review with a member of our legal team.