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What You Need to Know About Child Custody and Mediation

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Going through a divorce can wreak havoc on your life, especially if children are involved. When getting divorced, though, it’s very important you remember to put your child’s needs before your own. No matter the reason for the divorce or your personal feelings towards your ex, it’s important for you to remember that they are still a parent to your child, and your child deserves to have them in his or her life.

Image courtesy anthony kelly via Flickr

When it comes to custody, one alternative to a typical divorce proceeding is the use of mediation. Mediation allows you and your ex to work together with a mediator in order to create a custody arrangement that works for both parties’ interests. Here are just a few things you need to know about mediation.

Mediation is typically better for your child.

Children are affected by divorce, and mediation can be one way to help your child deal with the divorce in a healthier way. Instead of being dragged through the court system and asked who they want to live with, and instead of feeling like both parents are putting them in the middle, mediation’s sole purpose is to enable parents to work together for the child’s best interests. Instead of fighting and court systems, the parents establish an agreement that allows them both to parent equally and give each parent what they want in regard to the best interest of the child.

Mediators do not have any personal stake.

When you go through a typical divorce, your lawyer is on your side and will do anything in order to help you “win” your case. With a mediator, things are different. A mediator is a truly neutral associate whose sole purpose is to see the divorce equally from both sides and help parents come up with the best solution for the child. This way, instead of bickering, you and your ex will have a neutral third-party there to help open your eyes and create a solution.

Mediation costs less than typical divorce proceedings.

Mediation takes less time and involves fewer parties than a typical divorce, which means that it inevitably costs less. Since a mediator is one individual, you and your ex can split the cost of the mediator instead of paying your own lawyers individually. Plus, since you’ll forgo the time spent in court, the fee for a mediator will be much less than the hourly wage of your lawyer as well as all the court fees you’ll have to pay.

Mediation can help you better communicate with your ex.

Going through mediation forces you to work and communicate with your ex, and it forces you to put all your feelings aside. Because of this, and because you and your spouse will create a custody agreement that satisfies you both, you’ll be able to better communicate with him or her in the future. This healthy ability to communicate as well as a happy custody agreement will be extremely beneficial to your child.

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