Before you hire an attorney to litigate your child custody and support
plan, consider contacting a mediator for guidance. Most parents who result
to litigate child custody and support orders often feel dissatisfied with
the judge’s ruling. By hiring a mediator, parents can work together
to reach an agreement that is not only best for their children, but them
as well. Read on to learn more.
Child Support & Custody – It’s About More than Money
Courts focus on the costs involved with providing child support or splitting
custody. They rely on mandated formulas in calculating support which often
result in financial windfalls to parents. Mediators help parents focus
on the importance of their relationship with their children. In doing
so, parents are able to review and consider several factors when deciding
how to share custody and support. A skilled mediator knows how to address
the emotional aspects of making such decisions, while helping parties
see past their feelings to make an informed decision on behalf of their
children’s best interest.
When couples reach agreements during mediation, they feel more obligated
to abide by the terms. Sometimes, mediators recommend couples seek therapy
as individuals and with the family to help resolve conflicts. Divorce
can leave family members feeling broken. As a parent, instead of spending
your money on unreasonable attorney fees, research tools and other methods
– such as co-parenting- in which you can use to resolve your divorce
and ensure your family won’t feel broken afterwards, but be able
to move forward.
Mediation is Not Adversarial
Before you go to mediation, make sure you and your spouse know what you
want to achieve and what will work with your school, work, and social
schedules. Do not feel bad if a 50/50 visitation plan is not possible.
Remember, both parties should do what is in the best interest of their
children. By both parties knowing what they want to achieve, the chances
of mediation becoming adversarial will be reduced.
Also, during mediation, make sure you remain flexible. Do not hold firm
to a set ultimatum. Hear the other party out and see if you can compromise.
Most importantly, be respectful of everyone’s time, including the
mediator and do not agree to anything under duress.
Mediation Focuses on the Future
By using mediation to resolve your child support and custody issues, you
can focus on your children’s future. As a parent, you want what
is best for your children. During mediation, when crafting a parenting
plan, you can focus on the type of relationship you seek to have with
your children years past your divorce. The parenting plan you put together
with your spouse could help foster positive relationships with your children.
The court does not think about the long term emotional development of
children, but mediators do.
If you are considering using a mediator to develop a child custody and
support plan, contact us for more information. We provide mediation services
to residents of Orange County.
Please dial 888-614-0171 for a free consultation with Orange County Family
Law Mediation Lawyer Judy Williams.