Two parents coming to an agreement as to which one is going to retain custody of their shared child is not an easy process. It can be even more complicated for those embroiled in a bitter divorce where a child is being utilized as a negotiation tool.
If you have the slightest bit of an ability, though, to get along with your child's other parent, you may greatly benefit from attempting to reach a custody agreement via mediation.
This is because not only is resolving custody disputes via mediation less expensive to do than fighting them out in court, but the process is a time-saving approach as well. In as a little as a handful of one- to two-hour sessions, you can have a custody agreement in hand. Court schedules can result in such issues dragging out for months instead.
Mediation has also been proven to be a significantly less emotionally charged process for all parties involved. Parents who seek to resolve custody disputes via mediation tend to relish in having a stronger hand in determining the outcome of their child custody case than they otherwise would have if a judge were calling all the shots instead.
In determining whether mediation is the right choice for you, it's important to understand more about how the process works. While the parents' attorneys may represent each of his or her own interests, a mediator is an impartial, third party who looks to make sense of both sides of a custody issue. It's in listening to both sides that he or she can offer better solutions amenable to both.
Once both parties ultimately agree to the mediated agreement and it's signed off by a judge, the agreement is considered to be completely enforceable. However, if the couple never is able to reach an agreement in mediation, they can ultimately elect to have the case heard by a judge instead.
If you're in early stages of drafting a child support agreement with your child's other parent, you may decide that mediation is the best approach for working through your differences. A Fort Myers, Florida, family law attorney can advise you as to how to go about getting this process started.
Source: findlaw.com, "Child custody mediation FAQ," accessed May 19, 2017