Child custody cases can be complicated and difficult to solve, which is why it is suggested that many families participate in something known as alternative dispute resolution (ADR), making it easier on families and the court system. One of the most popular types of ADR is known as mediation, and it takes preparation. Sometimes people think that, just because a judge is not present, you don’t have to prepare for your mediation case – but you always should.
Preparing for Your Case
By understanding how mediation works, it will help you better prepare for your case. You should understand who will be there including every party, confidentiality of your case, and how to agree on certain elements. Because mediation is serious and should be treated as such, if you agree to something, it will be difficult to change somewhere down the line. Even though the process is confidential, the judge may still hear about certain things that happened in mediation. Your child custody dispute is a huge deal to you, your ex-spouse, and your child, which is why you should never go unprepared.
You should always ask questions beforehand and during. Ask questions that mean the most to you, and direct them to your attorney, spouse, and the mediator in charge – because this could affect drastic outcomes. Find out as much as you can about everything, such as following up on an abuse case that involves your child, because certain information could be vital to your case. Come prepared to tell the court why you should have custody, such as in regards to an abusive figure in the other household, special needs that are not being met, alcohol and drug issues, neighborhood having a lower crime rate, and evidence of mental health issues.
If you cannot agree on custody arrangements in front of the mediator, everything that was said will be forwarded to the court to make the final decision. The mediator, based on what they saw and heard, will provide reasons and conclusions to the court and give them an idea of what should be done with custody. You may be able to present additional information to the court at a later time, making your case complete before the court agrees on a decision for your child and your family. We take these cases very seriously and want the best outcome for you. Give us a call today to speak to an experienced attorney that understands the ins and outs of mediation and what will work best for your family.