Determining child custody (in Florida, it is referred to as timesharing and parental responsibility) is often one of the most difficult and emotional decisions for parents who are getting a divorce. Each parent wants to spend as much time as possible with their child and be as involved as possible in the decisions about their daily life. For parents who are committed to co-parenting and want the best for their child, one option for determining child custody is through the use of custody mediation. At the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg in Boca Raton, our team of highly qualified divorce attorneys is prepared to advocate for you in child custody mediation and all other divorce hearings. To learn more, call or contact our office today.
What is Child Custody Mediation?
Child custody mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that takes place outside of the courtroom during a divorce. Mediation usually occurs in an office setting with both parents, their lawyers, and a neutral third party known as the mediator. The purpose of mediation is to utilize compromise to develop a custody agreement that works for everyone in the family, unlike traditional custody litigation that often pits each parent against one another to fight for time with their child.
During custody mediation, the mediator meets with each parent to determine their priorities and any unique circumstances that may need to be integrated into the parenting plan as well as identify the major issues between parents regarding custody. The mediator then goes back and forth between the parents, helping them to resolve their issues by compromising on a plan and suggesting solutions to help resolve any outstanding custody matters. Once both parents are in agreement, the final parenting plan is drafted and submitted to the court.
Benefits of Child Custody Mediation
There are many benefits to using custody mediation instead of traditional litigation. Some of the most significant benefits include the following:
Mediation Encourages Communication
One major benefit of mediation is that it encourages communication between parents before the divorce is even finalized. This creates a solid foundation for co-parenting once the divorce is final and minimizes potential conflict between parents. Parents feel more comfortable talking to one another and have the skills to resolve issues that may arise without substantial conflict.
Mediation Decreases Stress on the Child
In traditional litigation, a child often feels trapped between parents or forced to decide which parent they wish to live with. This often leads to substantial stress, anxiety, depression, and other negative emotions for the child that neither parent wants. With mediation, a child knows that their parents are working together to create a custody plan and may even be able to provide input on the process.
Mediation Saves Time and Money
One final benefit to child custody mediation is that the process is often faster, and less expensive, than courtroom litigation. Parents can meet on their schedule instead of the court’s, and by working together parents often come to a good resolution on custody faster than a litigated battle in court. This also results in less expenses during the custody battle and overall in the divorce.
Talk to Our Office
If you wish to learn more about child custody mediation, contact the Boca Raton family attorneys at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg today.