What is Family Law or Child Custody Mediation?
Family Law or Child Custody Mediation is a process where two parents who have separated are seeking an alternative to court that is less costly and quicker than litigation to decide a custody dispute. Family mediation is an ideal option versus going into court and having a judge make decisions regarding your family. Mediation in the State of Idaho has become a popular method to handling child custody disputes more civilly. Dispute resolution techniques such as family mediation ensures that your issues are dealt with in such a way that maintains and promotes the interests of all parties involved. It allows parties involved to control the entire process while simultaneously allowing a third party mediator to guide discussions and ensure that all relevant interests are being considered. Sometimes agreements concerning finances and children are put together during the mediation process. However, the primary goal is typically to decide the custody schedule. Important decisions regarding living arrangements, finances, child custody, child support and child visitation are discussed. If a parent has hired an attorney then that attorney counsels the client prior to entering mediation and discusses what to expect during the process.
How do I Prepare for Mediation?
To prepare for mediation in Canyon County, you should:
- Write down important issues you want to discuss;
- Make a few sample parenting plans to present;
- Create several parenting time schedule ideas to show;
- Write down your work schedule, your child's school holiday schedule, the times of your child's extra events, and other important dates; and
- Write down concerns that you want your custody agreement to address.
What are some common Legal Topics Handled by a Mediator?
- Child Visitation
- Child Support Calculation
- Child Custody
- Parenting Arrangements
- Division of Property
Each parent might have his or her own family law attorney separate from the mediator. THE MEDIATOR IS NOT AN ATTORNEY FOR EITHER PARTY.
Why Should Child Custody Matters be Decided in Mediation?
Child custody determines where a child is going to live during a separation and after the parties reach a final agreement. This is difficult on children and needs to be handled as easily and quickly as possible. It's very important to find options that don't disturb a child's environment. The mediator hears both sides and assist in providing fair options for the child. However, mediation is most successful when the parents can be open-minded and put emotions aside for the benefit of the child or children. When handled correctly, child custody mediation protects family relationships and establishes a sound foundation for continued co-parenting.
How long does it take to make an Agreement in Mediation?
This depends on the number of custody issues needed to be worked out, the commitment of the parents, and the amount of conflict in the custody situation. An average custody dispute can usually have a custody agreement created in mediation within 2-3 sessions. In a high conflict situation, with complex issues, it may take a few months in mediation to complete an agreement. Obviously, the more prepared and agreeable the parties are the faster the mediation process will be concluded. Every mediator handles the process differently and some run longer mediation sessions than others. Generally a mediation session is 1-2 hours. Remember the entire divorce custody dispute process affects the children as well as the parents.
Tyler S. Rounds is an attorney mediator who understands family law and family mediation.