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child custody

Is mediation an effective way to handle a custody dispute in New Jersey?

Divorce can be challenging, especially when children are involved, as you’ll need to decide on a custody agreement. This can be stressful since decisions can significantly impact your parenting time. Undesradanably, disagreements may arise between couples about what arrangement is best for their children. If divorcing couples can’t agree on a custody arrangement, the judge will make the decision, and they will lose control over the outcome. To avoid this, some couples may consider alternative dispute resolution methods, like mediation, to settle custody disputes. Please continue reading to learn whether mediation is an effective way to deal with custody disputes and how our Ocean County Divorce Mediation services can help you today.

Is it possible to resolve custody matters through mediation in New Jersey?

Many couples turn to divorce mediation to avoid the time and cost of litigation. During mediation sessions, an unbiased third-party mediator will help the couple resolve their pressing issues to reach a mutual divorce settlement agreement. However, mediation can also be an effective way to handle custody disputes. A mediator can work with a divorcing couple to determine physical and legal custody. The main concern is what’s in the child’s best interests. The mediator will help couples work toward understanding each other’s perspectives on what they believe is best for the children to reach a mutual agreement on custody and parenting time.

When would mediation not be appropriate?

Unfortunately, child custody mediation will not work for every couple. If there’s any history of abuse in your marital relationship or one party has an untreated substance abuse problem. Mediation would not result in a fair outcome as an unbalanced power dynamic usually exists.

Moreover, mediation would not be appropriate in marital relationships with a high level of conflict, making cooperation and communication impossible. For mediation to be successful, both parties must be willing to compromise and actively participate in the process.

How can I prepare for mediation?

One of the most significant things you should remember while preparing for child custody mediation is that it concerns the children. Understandably, emotions run high during the divorce process. However, this can cause divorcing couples to let their emotions get the best of them and neglect to prioritize their children’s best interests when determining a custody arrangement.

When you begin mediation sessions, keeping an open mind is crucial. Your former spouse may have a different perspective on what they believe is best for the children. Instead of disagreeing and shooting down their opinion, try to understand where they are coming from. The mediator can offer suggestions for parenting time that you may not have thought of or may even open your eyes to why one arrangement better suits the child’s best interests.

In addition, bringing a proposal of what you think would be a fair custody and parenting time schedule is beneficial. Having a proposal planned out can help you organize your ideas and provide a starting point for discussion between you and your former spouse.

If you’re currently facing a custody battle, you must consider working with a mediator who can help you resolve your disputed issues without going to court. Contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC, today to discuss your legal matter.