There are many people out there who believe that litigation is the only way to reach an agreement with regard to child custody. While this may be true at times, it's not the only idea to consider.
For some divorcing couples, an out of court alternative dispute resolution strategy is the best way to move forward. This doesn't always work out in the end, but there are three benefits associated with the process:
- Save time
- Save money
- More control over what happens
When you opt for litigation, the court steps in to make final decisions regarding child custody. Sure, you have the opportunity to present your case, but in the end it's the judge who has the final say.
With alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, the entire process unfolds as both individuals work together to hash out the finer details.
With an active role, you and your former spouse can discuss the details of child custody to ensure that both parents are happy when everything is said and done.
Tip: Although you are not working through your issues in court, you can still consult with an attorney during child custody mediation. In fact, this is something you should definitely do, as it allows you to feel better about the decisions you are making.
Once you resolve all your issues, the mediator will step in to create a parenting agreement. From there, a judge will review for final approval. As long as everything checks out, this agreement will be legally binding.
Nobody wants to go through a divorce. Furthermore, nobody wants to find themselves asking questions and dealing with the challenges of child custody. Even so, you may find yourself in this difficult position. At that time, it's important to make the best of a bad situation.
We realize that reaching a child custody agreement is easier said than done. We also realize that mediation may be the answer to all your questions, as long as you take the right approach and know what to expect along the way.
In the end, what matters most is that you are comfortable with the agreement and that your child can continue to have a relationship with both parents.