In a divorce, one of the most contentious, divisive issues parents will face is child custody. You both want what is best for your child and you both believe that you know exactly what that means. However, that does not mean you are on the same page, which is where problems might arise. As much as divorcing spouses might have a hard time finding common ground, it is important to consider the needs and best interests of the children, and try to negotiate on an arrangement that is mutually agreeable.
The process of mediation can occur at any time during a custody case. During this stage, a child custody mediator will serve as a neutral third party to help both sides reach an agreement. To achieve this, a mediator will:
- Identify issues in need of resolution
- Explain local laws on pertinent topics
- Explain what might happen in court
- Advise on possible solutions
- Write a custody agreement that includes a parenting plan or visitation schedule
Child Custody Issues
If the mediation is unsuccessful, any unresolved issues will have to go to trial. Make the most of these negotiations and try to resolve all issues instead of taking it to trial. Preparing for these negotiations will help reach an agreement, so be ready to discuss the following issues:
- Where should the child live
- Parents’ plans to remarry
- Changes in custody if either parent relocates
- Holiday visitation
- Child support
- Health insurance
- Consistency in discipline and rules
- Extracurricular activities
Remember that if a custody agreement clearly does not serve your child’s best interests, it is within a judge’s power to undo it.
What to Bring to Mediation
Mediation is not a trial, but it is still a good idea to bring any documents that support your requests. Your ex might be more inclined to agree to your terms if you have evidence to back you up. Bring copies of your child’s school schedule and activity calendar to make negotiating parenting time an easier task.
Boca Raton Family Law Attorneys
At The Law Office of Schuttler, Greenberg & Mullins, we understand the difficulties of reaching an agreement when it comes to the issue of child custody. We can help. Our firm is backed by over 75 years of collective experience in handling such cases in Palm Beach and Broward Counties. Additionally, our legal team includes a Supreme Court Certified Mediator, so you can rest assured we can guide you from negotiation, mediation, and litigation, if necessary.
To learn more about your specific situation, our Boca Raton divorce attorneys can walk you through your circumstances. Call us today at (561) 336-6082 to speak with a member of our team.