Mediation or failure to mediate your baby custody case

Mediation or failure to mediate your child custody case

There are many benefits of mediation in your custody process. Mediation gives you the final say on the nature of custody and the other terms of your parenting plan. You will also gain negotiating experience that could open the door to a successful co-parenting relationship.

However, many parents wonder if mediation is right for them when it comes to custody. You may 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 require you to take part in mediation before the case can move to a final hearing (where the judge will rule on custody). You can ask the court to mediate if it is not necessary.

Can I use mediation if I have not started legal proceedings?

Yes. You can always reach an agreement in mediation and then submit your mediation to the court. If the judge agrees, it becomes your final custody order.

Can I use mediation if the other parent does not want to participate?

No. Both parents have to agree to mediation. The mediator can try to get them to participate.

Can I use mediation if I already have a custody order?

Yes. Mediation is mainly used by parents who do not have a custody order, but you can go to mediation to change your parenting plan. They would then take the new plan to the court and wait for the judge to approve.

Can I use mediation if I am not the legal father of the child?

No. You need a paternity decision in which you are named as the legal father of the child. After that, you can go to mediation when the other parent is ready.

Can I use mediation if I am having trouble speaking to my ex?

Yes. The mediator’s job is to mediate, which means helping to keep the conversations civilized. The mediator will help you resolve your differences and prioritize the best interests of the child.

As long as both do not endanger the best interests of the child, both parents have the right to participate in the life of their child. Mediation allows you to add conditions to your parenting plan that limit contact between you and the other parent that a judge may not take into account.

Can I use mediation if my ex has been violent towards me?

It depends. If it is dangerous for you to be around your ex, or if you are afraid of him or her to speak up, mediation is not a good option for you. In some cases, judicial intervention is required to protect everyone involved. However, if you are comfortable enough, the mediator may be able to take precautions to protect you. They can accommodate them in separate rooms during the mediation sessions.

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