For many divorcing parents, a family court will recommend mediation services to work out issues concerning a parenting plan and visitation schedule.
In some states, mediation is mandatory. Whether private mediation or through the court, mediation is an excellent way for you and the other parent to work together to create a parenting plan for your children.
Benefits of Mediation
In a child custody mediation session, a trained mediator acts as a neutral third party to help you and the other parent work together to develop a plan to parent your children after divorce. You may be able to resolve issues in one session, or it may take several sessions.
Bring your own version of a parenting plans to mediation, because that helps you get your thoughts organized and down on paper.
Preparing a plan gives you time to think about custody preferences, financial obligations, how and where your children should spend their days, and how your family will spend holidays and vacations.
Working together in mediation allows you to reduce conflict because you are working with a third party. It also allows you to take as long as your reasonably need to reach an agreement that is in the best interest of your children.
Preparing to Negotiate a Parenting Plan for Mediation
With luck, you and the other parent are on the same page about most of the issues surrounding a parenting plan for your children. Mediation should help you both resolve any issues you cannot agree on, or point out a better solution than either of you thought of.
There are certain things you can do to prepare for a mediation session in order to negotiate a parenting plan with the other parent.
- Keep an open mind. The mediator is trained to help you and the other parent come together, not advocate one side or the other. If you begin mediation determined to implement everything in your parenting plan, the negotiations will not go far.
- Learn to compromise. If you can compromise on different aspects of your parenting plan, your mediation sessions will be more productive. Participate in the back and forth brainstorm sessions until you can find a solution to each topic on your list.
Stay focused on the children. Creating a parenting plans that focuses on your children’s needs instead of promoting your own needs. The moderator will help you and the other parent understand what your children really need and help you eliminate the potential for instability and conflict. Mediation is not the proper venue to air grievances about the other parent or to bring up what led to problems in your marriage.
- Keep your emotions under control. Mediation can be tense so keep your attitude professional and controlled. A little balance and humor can also go a long way to setting an amicable atmosphere at the mediation session. It’s OK to ask for a break if things seem to get tense.
- Listen to the mediator. Trust that the mediator is an expert in helping people agree about child custody. While you need to hold firm to your parenting beliefs and what you feel is best for your children, it’s helpful to listen to a third party who is trained to promote the children’s needs and accommodate each parent’s wishes.
Parents should be open to different ideas, keep working to satisfy their goals, and be willing to compromise to reach a peaceful solution on behalf of their children.
Create your parenting schedule and plan also gives you the world’s best timetable, planning and mediation software. Timtab automatically generates a detailed parenting plan for your child or children. The software adjusts for travel times and the ages of children.