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Do you know that there are different forms of child custody? They namely are joint, sole, legal, and physical custody. In the divorce process, most parents disagree and argue about child custody. It could be that one of them wants sole custody while the other wants joint custody. Those experiencing such disagreements take the case to court or have a mediator guide them in the mediation process. This is a look at what mediation is, how the process is, how it works, and what you should expect from it.
Definition of child custody
Child custody is the responsibility of a parent to care for a child especially, after divorce proceedings. Either a child custody lawyer or a child support lawyer should be involved when deciding who is to take the child. As stated above, there are different types of child custody. They are;
- Joint custody– This is when both parents have guardianship of their child.
- Sole custody– Only one parent has the right of guardianship. It occurs when one parent seems to be too unsuitable to be a guardian.
- Legal custody– Both parents have the right to decide about the upbringing of their child. They are both to agree on which school they go to, the religion to practice, and the disciplinary methods to use. In simpler terms, one parent cannot make the decision alone.
- Physical custody– There is agreement upon who gets to stay with the child and who gets the visitation rights.
Definition of child custody meditation
Meditation involves the negotiation of spouses over child custody with help from a mediator. A mediator is a third-party consultant who has experience in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). They help solve any disputes and disagreements without being biased to either you or your partner.
They listen to both sides of the story and come up with the solution to your problems. The mediation process often occurs in the mediator’s office or an online setting. The mediator holds a session to discuss who gets child custody and who pays for child support. It is crucial to involve a child support lawyer in this process to give their input.
The advantages of mediation
The main benefit of mediation is that both of you discuss and agree on child custody. You ensure the decision made is in your child’s interests. It is not the same as a trial-based order where the court decides for you. Other benefits include; you get to save money, both of you are in charge of the parenting plan, it is in a private setting, the process is faster, and both of you can provide solutions to the issues.
Tips on what you should do during the sessions
- Have your child custody lawyer. They will help you a lot during this process. If your partner has one and you do not, you will be at a disadvantage.
- Do not be emotional in the process. You may have a grudge with your partner, but you should act civil with each other in the session. If thiings get too heated, take a break.
- Keep your marital issues away. Do not involve your child in any of your problems with your partner. It means you should not bring up any matters unrelated to your child.
- Mind your language. When referring to the child, be sure to address them as yours and of your spouse. You should also ensure that the solutions are in the best interest of your child and not yours.
- Avoid being subject to your abusive partner. It applies to victims of domestic violence. Do not allow your partner to make the decisions. Stand your ground and express what you want for your child. If it is too uncomfortable for you, you should both take separate sessions.
- If you see mediation is not working, consider other options. You may proceed to take the case to court.
Make sure the mediator on your case is qualified and knowledgeable in this area. During sessions, study their skills and suitability. If they are not up to the standards, you can find another person. Ensure that whoever you choose focuses more on the interests of your child.
Child custody mediation is a process to ensure your child has the best life after the divorce. For best results, ensure you have a lawyer and a qualified mediator. For more, reach out to your local mediator.