Child custody orders are something that many parents opt to try to work out together. Child custody mediation is one way that this can be done. Instead of working with just your ex, you would work with a third-party mediator who could help to keep the focus of the negotiations on your child. This is often helpful if the divorce is a particularly contentious one.
If you are considering going through child custody mediation, you should go into each session with a clear head. You will have to negotiate, so be willing to do this. As each session moves forward, think about how the decisions you make will impact your child.
You and your ex will have to think about your child's schedule and the work schedules that might impact custody and visitation schedules. You must be realistic as you do this. Don't agree to things that you know you won't be able to do.
By opting to go through child custody mediation instead of just expecting the court to take care of the custody arrangements, you and your ex can take your personal knowledge of your child to make the choices about everything related to your child. Working together now to work out the agreement can help you set a positive tone for the relationship so that it is easier to work together as long as necessary.
If you try mediation and it doesn't work, you still have the option of going to court to get things handled. This would prolong the process because a child custody trial usually takes much longer than mediation. With this in mind, you should carefully consider both options.
Source: FindLaw, "Child Custody Mediation FAQ," accessed Jan. 27, 2017