If you know anyone who has ever been involved in a divorce, you know things can sometimes get messy. Each side has their own beliefs about what happened that led to the divorce and what should be done with regards to all aspects of the divorce, including property division, spousal support or alimony and, when children are involved, child support and child custody.
As we often stress, the primary factor that goes into all decisions made by the court with regards to children is to protect the best interests of the child or children involved in the divorce. It is not uncommon for both parties to have a different perspective and different belief as to what is in the best interest of their children. While this is often well-intentioned, there may still be strong emotions at play, and what is considered best on one side, may not necessary be best, or at least is not considered to be best by the other party involved in the divorce.
The divorce process can get lengthy when drawn out in court. More and more often, parents are considering child custody mediation as an alternative to hash out differences and get a mutually agreed upon decision regarding child custody decisions. Since mediation takes place outside of court and what is spoken during mediation cannot be used as evidence during a trial, parents are often able to speak more freely and truthfully.
Mediation is done with an objective third party mediator who has no stake in either side. His or her job is to make fair and reasonable solutions based on all the evidence presented. If you are about to go through a child custody battle, you may want to consider mediation as a faster, less expensive way to get your differences resolved.
Source: findlaw.com, "Child Custody Mediation FAQ," Accessed, Jan. 9, 2017