When it comes to deciding child custody, litigation isn't the only option. Litigation is a costly, emotionally charged, and drawn out process that leaves the fate of your access to your child solely in the judge's hands. It is, however, necessary in situations when the nature of the parents' relationship is contentious. But parents who are able to resolve their issues civilly are gravitating to an alternative method of resolution in child custody cases: mediation.
Through the process of mediation, parents have the opportunity to work together and tailor a parenting plan that honors each of their unique contributions to their children's upbringing. Much like a custody case filed with a court, mediation can determine both legal and physical custody, visitation schedules, and other important details.
In this article, we'll go over some perks of mediation that you should account for before deciding how to resolve your child custody situation.
Mediation is a non-adversarial process
Mediation is a collaborative process. You and your ex-partner will both have the opportunity to come up with an arrangement that best reflects the best interest of your child. It's easy to lose sight of the main goal of child custody hearings in the divorce process because parents are so focused on “winning” in court. Mediation done right is a win-win process that will minimize dissension and conflict.
Mediation is less costly than litigation
Child custody mediation will cost you way less in comparison to the expenses of bringing a child custody case before a New Jersey family court. Also, it doesn't take as long to reach a consensus in a mediation session.
Mediation is confidential
In most cases, the mediators and other parties present cannot discuss the issues raised in a mediation session with anyone else. This is very different from the typical court proceeding, which is often open to the public.
Keep in mind that although mediation is an ideal option for many parents, it isn't for everyone. If you and your ex have a hard time communicating effectively, or there's still lots of animosity in the relationship, litigation may be the best alternative for you.
New Jersey Family Law Attorney
Attorneys make great mediators because they can offer insight based on their experience practicing family law. It's also important to have an attorney on-hand throughout the mediation process to ensure that the terms of the custody agreement are fair and that none of your rights are waived upon its enforcement.
If you would like to learn more about mediation or representation in a child custody proceeding, schedule a consultation with New Jersey family law attorney Joseph D. Lento today. You can contact him online or by phone at 888-535-3686.