Divorce can be distressing, especially when children are involved, as valuable parenting time is often at stake. Engaging in a custody battle in court can exacerbate the situation for all parties involved and result in a significant financial burden. Fortunately, couples who don’t see eye-to-eye regarding custody arrangements can resort to alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve their disputed issues without going to court. Mediation can be an effective way to handle a custody dispute if both parties are open to the process and willing to work together to prioritize their children’s best interests. Child custody mediation is explicitly designed for parents who can’t reach an agreement so they don’t have to endure the added financial and emotional stress of court battles. If you’re facing a child custody dispute, contact a seasoned Suffolk County Child Custody Mediation Attorney who can help resolve parenting plan disagreements peacefully. Please continue reading to learn what child custody mediation entails.
What is child custody mediation?
Firstly, mediation is an alternative dispute resolution that allows couples to work with an unbiased third-party mediator to resolve their disputed issues and come to a mutual agreement on the terms that will apply to the termination of their marriage without going to court. Regarding child custody, mediation can help parents reach an agreement on their children’s legal and physical custody. Physical custody refers to where a child will live, while legal custody refers to the parent who will make the decisions regarding the essential matters in a child’s life. The court prefers to grant parents shared legal custody unless one parent is deemed unfit. The main concern in all custody matters is what’s in the child’s best interests.
During a mediation session, an impartial mediator will help parents navigate their marital issues to facilitate a compromise that both parties can live with. It is imperative to note that a court can order child custody, or couples can undergo this process voluntarily. Whatever the case, this process is usually more cost-effective and less time-consuming than litigation.
Why are some parents reluctant to pursue mediation?
Unfortunately, many parents hesitate to pursue mediation due to the misconception that mediators make the final decisions regarding disputed matters. However, that is not the case. Mediators help couples resolve their disagreements to reach a custody agreement. Through mediation, you can maintain complete control over all custody decisions. However, if you go to court, you will relinquish a significant amount of power as the judge will ultimately decide what arrangement best suits your child’s needs, leaving you with no input on the final decision.
Before you put your family through a custody battle, consider your mediation options. If you’re dealing with a child custody matter, consider contacting The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C., to explore alternative ways of resolving the issue that can save you time and money.