Child custody mediations require a great deal of patience, persistence, and optimism. Many factors such as your work schedule, living arrangement, and parenting history will complicate matters.
Child custody mediation will often result in a decision that can impact you and your children for the rest of your life. Make sure you have taken all of the necessary steps and considered the multitude of factors surrounding your case before heading into mediation. Here are six steps to take in order to prepare for child custody.
Make sure you have tried to come to a compromise with the other party.
After a divorce, you will have to manage splitting your time with your children with your ex-spouse. The easiest way to divide this time is to come to a compromise with your ex-spouse. If you can avoid court intervention, it will save you and your family a great deal of time and money.
When the court intervenes, a mediation date will be set wherein you and the other parent meet with a trained counselor. The counselor will then recommend a parenting plan for your family. When deciding on child custody, the court will take the parenting plan into consideration as well as a variety of other factors.
Know your wants and needs.
It is extremely important to know your wants and needs before heading into child custody mediation. Some of your main concerns will likely be your visitation schedule and how much time you wish to spend with your children on a weekly basis.
Keeping a list of your concerns will allow you to stay organized and know exactly what you want to gain from child custody mediation. It can also help you relieve some stress as you go through the difficult process.
If your child has special needs, they will need to be addressed. Make sure your list includes all of the psychologists and teachers involved in your child’s life so that the mediator can contact them to clarify any questions.
Know the needs of your child.
Your child may not have special needs, but the court will always consider several important factors when deciding what is best for your child. Make sure you understand these factors and how they will impact the outcome of your child custody case:
- The age of your child;
- The health of your child;
- Your and the other parent’s ability to meet the needs of your child;
- The emotional connection between you and your child;
- Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse between you and the other parent;
- Where your child goes to school; and
- Your child’s involvement in the community.
Make sure to meet with a professional counselor before mediation.
If you can afford it, a professional counselor can provide considerable help before beginning child custody mediation. He or she will be able to provide guidance for you throughout the court proceedings.
One of the major challenges during child custody mediation is presenting yourself to the court in a positive light, without being overly emotional. Your counselor will give you the tools to present your case to the mediator and respond effectively to any personal attacks brought on by your ex-spouse.
Do not attempt to meet with your spouse prior to mediation.
You and your spouse may not agree on the division of time between you and your children, however, you can still communicate to discuss other important issues. Finding points of agreement between the two of you by reaching out before mediation can make the entire process much less stressful. If there is anything you and the other party can agree on, the challenge of mediation can become more efficient and less intimidating.
Do not feel pressured into signing an agreement.
The goal of mediation is to come to a compromise between you and your ex-spouse that will sufficiently satisfy each of your unique needs. If you are not comfortable with the way your time is split with your children, or anything else regarding the parenting plan, you should not agree to it.If you do not agree to what is was proposed during mediation you need to immediately notify your experienced family law attorney as to your concerns.
Call the Divorce Lawyers at Wallin & Klarich Today
Child custody mediation can seem like a daunting situation. Knowing how to prepare for it will help you relieve some of your stress and make the process easier for you. Your skilled family law attorney is trained and motivated to prepare you for the proceedings and make you feel at ease. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been successfully handling child custody cases for over 30 years. We have the skill and knowledge necessary to get you the best possible outcome in your case.
With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, our skilled attorneys are available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.