How to Prepare for Child Custody Mediation
Child custody is a hot-button issue when it comes to divorce or legal separation. You want to spend as much time as you can with your children, and you likely don’t want the other spouse to end up with more time than you. Emotions will run high, harsh words will be exchanged, and the children could suffer as a result.
Taking your custody issues into the courtroom can be a stressful process, and the judge has the ultimate say in custody. That’s why many divorcing spouses opt for mediation.
But, will it actually work? Or, will you be unable to get what you want and end up back at square one? That depends on the situation, but with mediation, both parties have the opportunity to speak their minds in a safe and open environment.
Preparing for Child Custody Mediation
The only way to see whether mediation will work for you is to give it a try. If you want the very best outcome possible, then you will need to arrive at mediation as prepared as possible. How can you prove to your ex that you deserve custody of your children, and how can you show your ex’s lawyer that you are a fit parent?
You will need to bring evidence to support your position. Everyone’s goals will be different when they enter into mediation. Some might want to receive sole custody; some will be satisfied with a fair split; others might want only partial custody. Whatever your goals, you will still need to be able to prove that you have the child’s best interests at heart.
Below is a list of tips and ideas on what you should bring to mediation and how you can be prepared before entering negotiations:
- Dress appropriately. This is an important meeting and you need to take it seriously.
- Bring evidence of stable employment and income.
- Bring evidence of a stable residence.
- Have lists prepared on how you are going to care for the child, including extracurricular activities you would like your child to engage in, and plans on how you will handle childhood difficulties.
- Bring evidence that you have a support system for you and your children.
- Remember to remain calm during mediation meetings and always listen to the other side.
- When it’s your turn to speak, keep only the child’s best interests in mind and in the conversation. All other issues that took place during the marriage have no place here. Will you provide for the child and care for the child? That’s what matters now.
- If you believe the other parent is unfit to receive joint custody you need to bring proof. Show the other side that if you took your custody case to court you would most likely win.
Obtain Legal Assistance During Child Custody Mediation
The above are just a few ideas for how you can prepare for child custody mediation. Each case is unique and you will want to speak with a highly trained family lawyer before entering into the mediation process.