One of the most difficult things about getting a divorce if you have children is determining what is in the best interests of the children. As a parent, you have to put your own wishes aside and focus solely on the children. In Florida, you and your child's other parent have the option of going through mediation to determine what is going to happen with custody.
You might be reluctant to go through mediation with your ex since it requires you both to work together. Even though this might not be on the top of the list for things you want to do, it is usually what is best for your child.
You and your ex are the people who know the most about your children. When you go through mediation for child custody, your child's needs and desires can be considered. This usually isn't possible when you let the court decide the child custody terms because the judge doesn't really know your child.
Keeping an open mind during mediation is something that is very important. If you are open minded and go through the mediation process pleasantly, you can set the tone for the rest of the relationship with your ex. Even though you and your ex aren't together any longer, you will have to at least be cordial with each other for the sake of your child.
When you go through mediation, you should still make sure that your rights are respected. Understanding all of the terms of the child custody agreement can help you to ensure that you know what is going to happen.
Source: FindLaw, "Child Custody Mediation FAQ," accessed July 29, 2016