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Mediation, child custody and what to expect

As you go through a divorce, you may have concerns about child custody. This is something you'll need to work through, just the same as many other details (such as property division and child support).

Many divorcing couples opt for mediation, as opposed to litigation, as they want to maintain as much control as possible over the process. Furthermore, mediation can help you save time and money.

Even though the mediation process differs from one case to the next, here are some basic steps to expect:

  • The mediator will make an introduction and then explain the goals and rules of future meetings
  • You and your ex-spouse have the opportunity to describe your feelings and what you hope to accomplish
  • You'll work with the mediator to get through all your issues related to child custody (and other matters)
  • A mediator will create an agreement that details what you've agreed to

Obviously, there is more to the process than this. For example, if you and your spouse can't agree on a custody arrangement and visitation schedule, you could end up in court at some point in the future.

Child custody is often a sticking point during a divorce. While mediation can help, both individuals need to buy in if it's going to work.

Fortunately, when you know what to expect and have a clear idea of your legal rights, you can make the most of mediation. This should put you on the path to working through your child custody issues, all with the idea of putting this in the past as soon as possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Common Mediation Questions," accessed Feb. 09, 2018

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