Mediating or not mediating in your custody case
There are many benefits of mediation in your child custody case. Mediation gives you the final say over the type of custody and other terms of your parenting plan. You will also gain negotiation experience that could open the door to a successful co-parenting relationship.
However, in custody cases, many parents question whether mediation is right for them. You will be surprised at the circumstances under which mediation can work.
Can I use mediation if I have started legal proceedings?
Yes. Your court may even ask you to participate in mediation before the case can proceed to a final hearing (where the judge decides the custody settlement). You can ask the court to initiate mediation if this is not necessary.
Can I use mediation if I have not initiated legal proceedings?
Yes. You could always reach an agreement in mediation and then submit your mediated agreement to the court. If the judge agrees, this becomes your final custody order.
Can I use mediation if the other parent doesn’t want to participate?
no Both parents must consent to mediation. The mediator can try to persuade them to participate.
Can I use mediation if I already have a custody order?
Yes. Mediation is primarily used by parents who do not have a custody order, but you can go to mediation to change your parenting plan. They would then submit the new plan to the court and await approval from the judge.
Can I use mediation if I am not the legal father of the child?
no You need a paternity directive naming you as the legal father of the child. After that, you can go to mediation if the other parent is willing.
Can I use mediation if I’m having trouble talking to my ex?
Yes. The job of the mediator is to mediate, which means helping to keep the conversations civilized. The mediator will help you resolve your differences and prioritize the child’s best interests.
As long as there is no danger to the well-being of the child, both parents have the right to participate in the life of their child. Through mediation, you can add conditions to your parenting plan that limit contact between you and the other parent that a judge may not consider.
Can I use mediation if my ex was violent towards me?
It depends. If you find it dangerous to be around your ex or fear of him prevents you from speaking your mind, mediation is not a good option for you. In some cases, court intervention is required to protect everyone involved. However, if you feel comfortable enough, the mediator may be able to take steps to protect you. They could put you in separate rooms during the mediation sessions.
Ben Coltrin was 21 when he quit his job to develop Custody X Change software, which helps parents track their custody plans, create parenting plans, keep track of their child’s expenses, and more. Almost 20 years later, he loves sharing his knowledge about child custody and improving the… MORE >