In the world of divorce and separation, emotions are often on edge, especially when there are children involved. Thankfully, for couples attempting to find resolution for things like child support and child custody, lengthy and costly court battles are not the only option. To minimize the stress of custody disagreements, alternative dispute resolution is a potential avenue to explore, so you can avoid the tension and hostility that court hearings can often bring. Lawyer-led mediation services can provide an avenue for resolving disagreements in a safe, cooperative setting. But just because a judge won’t be presiding over these mediation sessions, it doesn’t mean you can arrive unprepared!
If you and your spouse or ex-spouse are attempting to find a resolution for your parenting arrangements, here are a few tips for how to prepare for your mediation sessions:
Don’t come into the office and plan to wing it- this never works out well for either party. Before your mediation date, write down your concerns about child custody, making sure they are clear and well thought out. This will act as a guide for your sessions, and keep you on track.
If you are asking for full or primary custody of your children, you will be asked to show evidence that your spouse is a less stable or less healthy parent. You shouldn’t expect for emotional arguments to prove your point- instead, gather solid, factual evidence that supports your claims- the more you have, the better your chances will be.
When you show up with potential solutions, options, or the ability to compromise, your mediation will go much smoother. Prepare some potential co-parenting possibilities before arriving, and be ready to discuss the details of each and identify areas for cooperation with your spouse.
Staying in control of your emotions is one of the best things you can do during child custody mediation. Remain calm and rational, avoid outbursts of anger, and avoid engaging with your spouse in any way that would be considered threatening or hostile.
There are many child custody attorneys in Florida, but you should always do your homework and find the right one for your family’s needs. You should feel comfortable and respected with your lawyer, and trust them to lead the negotiations with ease.
Are you ready to solve your child custody dispute? Reach out to Harnage Law today for your free consultation!