Mediation is a valuable process that many couples choose to use to resolve differing views on divorce matters such as custody arrangements. A neutral third party facilitates the process and makes sure that there isn’t a bias on either side of the equation. The divorce topics are discussed and negotiated through a series of meetings until the couple can reach an agreement.
Why is Mediation Popular?
Mediation provides a sense of control, unlike court proceedings, as the couple can choose the mediator together and set up the expectations for the mediation process. They can agree on when the mediation will take place, what to agree on and which outstanding items need to be resolved and more that isn’t typically an option when discussing these matters in court. The couple works with the mediator to make necessary decisions rather than leaving it up to the courts.
Appealing Factors of Mediation
In addition to the items listed above, other factors make mediation appealing to couples.
In most cases, mediation can result in a quicker solution. You set up the appointments and aren’t at the mercy of the court’s schedules. By removing other parties that may not bring relative information to the process, you can focus on the two of you and your needs concerning your children rather than outside influence, which often results in a quicker, satisfactory conclusion.
You can rely on the expertise of the mediator. Having worked with many families to help them negotiate their issues, valid and necessary advice that has worked for other couples in the past can be given. This can help you achieve a different perspective and come to an agreement together.
Cost savings is another appealing factor for most couples. Generally speaking, working with a mediator rather than litigating in the courts to resolve essential issues can save you money, time, and stress.
Mediation can also result in an excellent start to resolving issues after a divorce. A good mediator can facilitate negotiations and each party’s responses to emotionally charged issues in a way that may help them resolve future problems. They are not therapists, but mediators are highly skilled in helping you to facilitate an agreement amongst yourselves. These tools can be invaluable to the future of you and your children.
How Can Mediation Help with Child Custody Arrangements?
Both parents can discuss their wants and needs behind closed doors rather than in a courtroom. This can often lead to an agreement more efficiently, as there is the concern of only a few people hearing their most personal needs or worries. Instead, the “nitty gritty” details can surface within the privacy of the mediation meetings and help get to the solution quicker, in most cases, than in a public setting.
Both physical and legal custody can be determined in mediation. Both parties can relay what works best for their schedules, and the mediator can help navigate a solution in the child’s best interest.
Visitation schedules and transportation of the children back and forth are also vital to a family’s schedule post-divorce. Holidays, career schedules, logistics, and more can all be discussed thoroughly, and the couple can agree on all the moving parts.
Depending on the age and maturity of the child or children involved, the mediator may consider including them in the mediation.Involving the children in question can help provide another perspective that the mediator can utilize to help resolve conflicts and come to an agreement.
How Can I Ensure Success Through Mediation?
Mediation has a high success rate. Although it does not work 100% of the time, mediation can give you a better chance at finding solutions you can be happy with.
If you have children, focusing on their best interest is a great way to help facilitate mediation. If relationship issues arise, this can create unnecessary emotions in custody agreements and muddy the process.
Remind yourselves of the opportunity to have more control over this situation than if you were in a courtroom, and focus on the positives. It can be easy to get lost in emotions, and it is a basic instinct to protect our children. Mediation gives you more control over the current process and what the future holds. Focusing on this common goal can help alleviate unnecessary topics from interfering and dragging out mediation.
Be intentional and careful with your language while in mediation. This task can seem harder for some than others. Still, if you keep in mind that the past can be left in the past and rely on the mediator to help you navigate today’s concerns, you can learn new ways to communicate with each other and begin to navigate future issues on your own. The end of a relationship with children involved signifies the beginning of a new life, but with both parents still involved in some capacity. A new life in which conflict resolution with the other parent will be possible in the future.
Why Work with a Mediator?
With over 25 years of experience, I have learned through my experience that, although divorce can induce feelings of anger and frustration, it doesn’t have to be a heavy or challenging situation. There are ways to navigate the process to help both parties find peace and keep the children’s best interests at the forefront. After all, that is what matters the most.