How To Prepare For Child Custody Mediation
If you are a parent involved in a Florida child custody case, the court will likely order mediation to resolve any disputes that you have not already worked out by agreement. The process is official in the sense that you can make legally binding decisions; however, it is informal as compared to a trial in court. The proceedings are guided by a mediation professional who may be a lawyer or may have other professional experience but are trained in mediation, and the objective is to work out a suitable child custody arrangement and potentially any other issues that may be related to your suit.
There are numerous benefits of mediation for child custody, and you can take the best advantage of them when you are prepared to meaningfully participate in the process. One of your first priorities should be retaining legal representation. A Dade City mediation lawyer will advise you on the specifics and be at your side during the session, and some tips will also help you get ready.
Avoid a Win-Lose Mindset: An important point to remember is that you are not participating in mediation to win an argument or get your way. The goal is to resolve the issues while keeping your children’s best interests in mind. Mediation encourages you to see the other’s side and work toward compromise together, so co-parents should not treat each other as adversaries.
Focus on the Dispute: Child custody is a common issue in divorce, but there are other matters in your case that are not a part of the mediation process at hand. It is understandable that you may be frustrated or disappointed with regards to how things are going with property division or alimony. However, avoid allowing your perspective on other issues to cloud judgment in a child custody mediation. Do not demand more overnights than you are likely to be able to exercise simply because you want to reduce your child support obligation.
Set Goals: Though mediation is not about seeking a victory, it is still helpful to establish your expectations. Under most circumstances, both parents will be afforded timesharing and shared parental responsibility. However, consider your goals with living arrangements, the parenting time schedule, and allocating decision making.
Be Willing to Compromise: A good settlement is an agreement where each party is a little bit unhappy. Most parents want more time with their children. A willingness to compromise can also foster a better co-parenting arrangement thus making it easier for the children to easily move between the homes.
Trust Your Florida Mediation Attorney for Guidance
These basic tips on how to prepare for child custody mediation should be useful, but The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane will provide personalized advice based upon your situation. To learn more about how the process works, please call 352-567-0055 or go online to set up a consultation. We serve clients throughout Pasco County in a range of family law matters, and we look forward to working with you.