Mediation Puts People Who Know Your Child In Control

Most parents want what is best for their child. When a child’s parents aren’t in a relationship, tension about how to raise the child can occur. Unfortunately, working through that tension is often very difficult. Using mediation to try to come to an agreement about how a child custody agreement should be handled is one way that you and your ex can try to get things done.

The good thing about using mediation in a child custody case is that the decisions about the child are being made by the two people who really know the child. You don’t have to rely on someone who doesn’t know the child to make the choices.

We know that trying to work out the finer points of a child custody agreement can be a stressful situation. It is imperative that you make sure you aren’t letting your emotions get in the way of making sound decisions for your child. Instead, you have to put your child’s interests and desires before your own.

Another positive point about using mediation is that your issues are likely going to be resolved quicker than if you had to wait on the court to decide. This can help your child since everything isn’t up in limbo for a prolonged period of time.

Mediation isn’t something that is always going to be easy. In the end, it is usually worth the work because you are likely to end up with a child custody agreement that will work for your child. It also shows your child that you and your ex can work together to put him or her first.

Plan Carefully For Your Mediation Sessions

The first thing that you have to remember is that you must mentally prepare for the process. This isn’t a fast process. It isn’t something that is always going to go your way. Instead, you have to prepare for a long divorce process that will be mentally taxing.

Some mediations are also emotionally difficult. If you remember that the things you are dividing are just things, you will likely be able to remove your emotions from the process and make things easier. If you are dealing with child custody issues, remember that your child is the person who matters.

Make sure that you are carefully considering all major decisions. In some cases, you might need to make it clear that you need more time to consider points. Make sure that you seek out professional help, such as help from financial advisors, when it comes to major decisions, such as how to split retirement accounts, assets and debts.

Ultimately, the mediation process is just a means to an end. That end, the divorce, is what you should focus on. Once the divorce is finalized, you can move on with your life and exit the limbo that you were in during the divorce and mediation process.

Source: CBS News, “Divorce financial planning: 8 tips to get what you need in a divorce,” Robert Pagliarini, accessed June 24, 2016

Can Collaborative Divorce Make the Transition Easier?

Getting through a divorce with your sanity intact can be very difficult. There are many decisions to be made and the courts to deal with. All of this is on top of trying to process the emotional implications of the end of the marriage and what this means for your daily life moving forward.

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by both your emotions and your responsibilities. If you’re used to having two incomes or a spouse to take on a share of the household responsibilities, post-divorce is a big adjustment. It’s important to check in with yourself regularly to make sure you’re getting your needs met and taking breaks to relax and take part in the activities you enjoy.

While it’s tempting to try to tackle your divorce and life afterwards as quickly and intensely as possible, this can lead to burnout and a breakdown. Make sure you’re not burying your feelings and grief over the divorce in an attempt to be “tough.” Acknowledging and dealing with these feelings is an important step in healing. However, the very best thing you can do for yourself and your children during this time is to keep things as calm as possible, and this is where a collaborative divorce can help.

By its very nature, the collaborative process takes a great deal of the conflict out of the situation and makes it easier for you to get through the divorce without more stress than absolutely necessary. Many divorcing couples — and their children — are able to benefit from a more cooperative process, and you may also end up with a quicker, less costly divorce in the end.

Source: Mindful, “Parenting Mindfully through Divorce,” Erika Prafder, accessed June 30, 2016

Can My Ex Stop Me From Moving?

In a simple answer, yes, but parental relocations — the formal term used for when a custodial parent wants to move with the children — are usually much more complicated than that. Summer is prime moving time for many people because the children are out of school and the weather is pleasant. Moving during the summer also gives everyone a chance to adjust to the new place and neighbourhood before school starts back up in the fall. However, if you’re a custodial parent planning to move this summer, there are a few things of which you should be aware.

The first is that you must notify both your ex and the courts of your intent to move. This notice must be given a certain amount in advance of the intended relocation as well, and the exact length is usually noted in your custody order. Providing formal notice of your intent to relocate gives your ex enough time to file an objection if necessary and for the courts to make any needed changes to the custody or access arrangement.

When reviewing your request to relocate, the courts will take into consideration the existing custody and access arrangement, how far the new residence will be from the noncustodial parent and the wishes of all involved. If your ex does not object to the move and is willing to agree to alter the access arrangement, you likely won’t have any issues.

However, if your ex does object to the move, you may need to consider a more formal dispute resolution option. Arbitration, for example, can help both of you come to an agreement on what is in the best interests of the children and how the access arrangement may be adjusted to protect the child’s relationship with both children.

Source: FindLaw, “Can custodial parents move their children?,” accessed June 09, 2016

Arbitration Is Usually Preferable Over Litigation

Family law matters are often very personal matters that can include some private information. When you and your ex can’t work out the details of a divorce or other family law matters, you might have to make a choice between arbitration and litigation. This decision requires thought, but you should be aware of exactly what arbitration entails before you decide.

Generally, arbitration is faster than litigation. This means that you can have your issues resolved through arbitration much faster than what would be possible if you had to wait for the court to decide your issues.

If you choose arbitration, you would present your side of the case to the arbitrator. Your soon-to-be ex would do the same. The arbitrator would then make a decision about how the case must be resolved. The proceedings are confidential, so you don’t have to worry about your personal information being made public like you would if you went through litigation. That is a big bonus if you have children to protect or if you have considerable assets or personal matters at the heart of the case.

We know that you might be wondering how this is different from litigation. One way is that you and your ex get to pick the arbitrator. You can choose an arbitrator who has experience in family law matters. If you end up going to court, you can’t choose the judge who will hear your case.

We can work with you to help you understand how arbitration might affect your case. Choosing to go through arbitration is a big decision that mustn’t be made lightly. You should make sure that you have all of the information before you decide.