6 Ways to Keep Child Custody Mediation on Track

Mediation is a chance for you and the other parent of your child to settle the matter without the judge weighing in. Even though the judge can rely on the law to help him or her decide what is best for your child, you and the other parent have intimate knowledge of your child and his or her needs. As a result, you are in a better position to make custodial decisions. Here are six ways to keep the mediation on track.   

  1. Be open-minded. Although it is easier to keep a closed mind and only focus on what you feel the child needs, you have to be willing to hear the other parent out. If not, the mediation could be derailed and the case will have to be decided by a judge.  

  2. Detail your concerns. Before the first session with the mediator, write down all of your concerns regarding the other parent. Your concerns should focus on his or her care and relationship with the child and not be a personal attack.  

  3. Create a sample agreement. The sample agreement can help the other parent understand what you want to see from the mediation sessions. It is important to remember that the agreement is not the finalized agreement. It is merely a starting point for both of you.  

  4. Remember the future. Custodial agreements do not focus solely on what is happening right now. You and the other parent need to also consider how the child's care is handled as he or she ages. You can meet again to make changes when necessary, but doing the groundwork now can help ease the process.  

  5. Attend counseling. If time allows, you and the other parent should consider attending counseling together. During counseling, you and the other parent can learn how to co-parent. You can also learn techniques to help you hear each other and communicate effectively. 

  6. Know your child's schedule. Important events that matter to your child throughout the year also need to be considered in the negotiations. Having a visual display of your child's needs throughout the year can help both of you find a fair division for custody.  

Your child custody lawyer can also help you find ways to keep your mediation moving forward. A lawyer like Kenneth J. Molnar Attorney can help review the sample agreement and any counteroffers that you get from the other parent. Your lawyer can also offer insight on what you can do to sway some aspects of the negotiations in your favor.