Sometimes, the best way to have a child-centered divorce in California is to consider out-of-court alternatives when making decisions about the welfare of your kid. One of the most effective ways is mediation; however, you should note that it is only as good as your preparation for it and how you work through it.
Understanding mediation in child custody issues
Child custody and visitation mediation is a form of dispute resolution in which a neutral third person, the mediator, helps parents develop an agreement about their children’s living arrangements. It is often used when divorcing parents need to decide how best to take care of their kids. The goal is to help them reach an agreement that meets their needs and those of the children and not to coerce them toward a particular decision.
In California, the process begins with both parents attending a brief joint session with the mediator. During this meeting, they discuss their expectations for the process and what to address in future sessions. Next, each parent has individual meetings with the mediator during which they can express their concerns and goals regarding child custody arrangements.
The mediator then works with each parent to help them find a mutually agreeable solution. This may involve developing an arrangement that works for both parents as well as exploring potential compromises and solutions. The mediator is also available to answer questions, provide legal information and review any documents related to the matter.
Once the parents have reached an agreement, the mediator writes up the terms in a document that outlines the arrangements agreed upon by both parties, and they can use it in court if necessary.
While it is not appropriate in all cases, mediation has several advantages when it comes to child custody matters. It can help parents find common ground, foster communication between them, maintain control over decisions about their children’s future, avoid expensive court battles and time-consuming trials, and keep the best interests of their children in mind.