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How You Can Use Meditation to Settle Child Custody Issues

Child custody disputes can understandably become quite emotional. Both parents love and care for their children immensely, so it only makes sense that they would each have strong opinions over how their children will be raised and what sort of custody arrangements will be put in place.

With such a potentially hot-button subject, one might wonder whether it’s truly possible to settle some contentious child custody issues in mediation.

The answer is yes—mediation can be a setting in which divorcing couples can work out a plan for child custody collaboratively. Consider the following:

  • Improve communication: Mediation is beneficial because it helps the parents improve communication and develop strategies that break through potential barriers. Both parents will have to continue to communicate on a regular basis moving forward, so developing strategies for communication in a safe environment is critical.
  • Greater chance of both parents abiding: When parents have ownership over the custody arrangement by creating their own framework rather than turning things over to a judge, they’re much more likely to abide by its terms. There is less incentive to violate the terms of an agreement that you helped forge. Custody orders handed down by the court have a higher rate of violation because one parent might feel like they were slighted or disrespected in the decision.
  • Take control: You and the other parent know your children better than anyone, including a judge. Mediation allows you to determine your family’s fate yourself. That ability is really important and powerful, and often helps people work through the struggles and arguments they need to get through in mediation.
  • Mediator assistance: Mediators are highly skilled professionals who can help you get past some of your personal issues and navigate some of the more contentious aspects of your divorce, including child custody. Even if you and your spouse are prone to arguing, you may still find success in mediation.

Often times, even while mediating, the parties will consult with their own attorney to review the mediated agreement to ensure same is fair and equitable.

For more tips about using mediation for your divorce issues, contact an experienced family lawyer at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia LLP.