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Why should parents use mediation for child custody concerns?

Your child is the most important person in the world to you, and it's likely your spouse feels the same. This is why so many people struggle during divorce; how can you split time with your child with a person you're no longer in love with and may not even like?

Child custody isn't just about you. You need to consider your child's best interests and find a way to compromise on a parenting plan that works for each person involved. Many people choose to go through child custody mediation sessions, because they help reduce and address conflicts, so you can move forward with a divorce.

Mediation is non-adversarial, which means the goal is to work together and to problem solve, not to be defiant or to work against each other. For individuals who simply can't be in a room together or work together at all on custody matters, a judge or jury may decide the outcome.

Mediators work with couples to try to help them determine a parenting plan that is beneficial to them while being supportive of their child. Mediation sessions also focus on teaching you ways to work together, so you can work through conflict and work together to raise your child, even though you're no longer living together or in a relationship.

You can try mediation before taking your case to court, and it's a good idea to do so. Mediation is non-binding, and it's less expensive than court. If you do come to an agreement, it's likely to be less contentious moving forward. Your attorney can tell you more about what to expect if you decide to pursue mediation.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Custody Mediation FAQ," accessed May 01, 2017

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