Are you nervously anticipating your first mediation session over your child custody issues? You aren’t alone. Most parents who are going through a divorce feel the same anxiety when they’re trying to settle such an important issue.
Well, take heart: You’re already on the right path to a peaceful compromise with your soon-to-be ex-spouse over the kids because you’ve chosen to try mediation. While mediation isn’t always successful, the willingness to negotiate is always a positive sign.
In order to make the best use of mediation over a custody issue, here’s what you should remember:
1. Focus on what’s best for your child
If your child is very young, you can’t really ask his or her opinion on things, but older children often need to feel like they have some say in their future. Talk to your child in a neutral fashion about the possible visitation schedules or any changes you anticipate to their routine and get their take on what they would like to see.
2. Concentrate on the issues at hand
You’re in mediation to deal with custody and visitation, not any of the issues that led to your divorce. Focus on trying to work out what’s important for your child’s future and leave all the other issues alone.
3. Go into the meeting with a plan
You can write down your goals, the things that you are willing to negotiate more freely about and a general list of anything you think may be important to discuss or that you hope to have written into your agreement. Make sure that you also discuss these issues in advance with your attorney so that everyone is on the same page.
Our office actively encourages mediation as a way to establish a fair and cooperative relationship with your ex-spouse over custody issues. For information on how we may be able to help, please contact us directly or continue to explore our site.