Disagreements about child custody issues, including the allocation of parental responsibilities, the parenting time schedule, parental relocations, and other matters, can be intense. Parents tend to have strong feelings about legal matters involving their children, and understandably so.
Mediation offers an alternative to litigation through the court. During child custody mediation, the parents or other involved parties discuss their differences and work toward a solution. Many people find that the mediation process is an effective tool for resolving conflicts without the stress, expense, and conflict involved in litigation.
What Happens During Mediation?
The mediation process varies from case to case. However, mediation typically begins with the parties sitting down with the mediator and identifying the disputed issues. Parties will also identify any issues they agree on, helping them start the mediation process on a positive note.
Next, the mediator facilitates a conversation about the unresolved issues and helps the parties explore various options. For example, if the disputed issue involves the parenting time schedule, the mediator may suggest a few different schedules and have the parties discuss whether that would or would not work for them. The mediator’s job is not to make a decision for the parties, but to empower them to make their own decision.
The mediator may use conflict de-escalation tactics if the conversation gets heated or suggest that the parties take a break and return to the issue later. Divorcing parents or those engaged in child custody disputes often find that working with a mediator helps keep the conversation respectful, calm, and productive.
What Are the Benefits of Mediation?
Most people want to avoid involving the court in their personal family matters. Mediation gives parents an opportunity to resolve their disagreement without going to court. It is a confidential process, unlike court hearings, which is also important to many people.
Parents who resolve child custody disputes through mediation are also given the opportunity to practice communication skills and conflict resolution tactics that can greatly benefit them in the future. Disputes are bound to arise in any co-parenting situation, and parents who have already practiced resolving conflict amicably will be in a better position to handle future disputes.
Perhaps most importantly, mediation puts the power in the hands of the parents. Instead of a judge making a decision about what is best for the child, the parents remain in control of the outcome of their case.
Contact our Naperville Mediation Lawyers
If you are getting divorced and you have children, or a dispute has arisen regarding child custody or other child-related legal concerns, mediation may be the best way to reach a solution. Our skilled DuPage County mediation attorneys can help you explore all of your options and determine what is best for you and your family. Call our office today at [[phone]] for a free initial consultation.