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How can mediation help resolve a child custody dispute?

Child custody matters are often the most difficult ones that people who are going through a divorce have to deal with. While it is easy to understand how things can devolve during the process, parents have to remember that a long, drawn out, contentious battle isn't what is truly best for the children.

One option that some parents have for deciding child custody issues is going through mediation. Child custody mediation is a process that can help parents to resolve their differences without having to go through a trial. If you are in the midst of a child custody case, think about these points regarding mediation.

What happens during mediation?

When you and your ex go through mediation, an impartial mediator helps to keep you and your ex on track. This means that he or she will steer you back to the issues that matter when you start to detour.

During the mediation process, you and your ex will try to work through the issues that you are facing. You should remember that you do have the option of asking to speak to the mediator alone if you feel the need. Your ex also has that right, so you should respect the request if it is made.

Why should I entertain the idea of mediation?

Mediation is a good idea in many cases because it can help you and your ex to work through the issues faster. If you can go through mediation calmly and while placing the focus solely on your child, you might find that this sets the tone for the future relationship that you will have with your ex when it comes to the children.

Mediation is often preferable because it gives you and your ex control over what happens with the child custody issues. You aren't relying on a person who doesn't know your situation or your child to make decisions that could impact the rest of his or her childhood.

What happens if we can't work together?

While mediation is largely successful, there is a chance that the process won't work. If this is the case, you and your ex can go to trial and have the court decide what to do. This will usually take longer and be a more costly option than trying to go through mediation. Some parents find it necessary to do this. Just remember that the goal of all child custody cases is to get an agreement that is in the child's best interests.

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