When it comes to divorce, aside from property division one of the more vulnerable areas revolves around child custody. Even in the most amicable divorces, parents can reach a roadblock when it comes time to agree on a child custody and visitation arrangement.
If you and your spouse can't decide on where the kids should go to school, who should get them on vacation, or where they will live most of the time, then it may be time to consider mediation. Mediation can even be helpful if you're both getting along, but need help sorting out the details.
Custody mediation is a voluntary process where you and your spouse would talk with a trained mediator together. With mediation, you discuss major decisions about caring for your children, and you will go over parenting schedules. Mediation is beneficial because of how it's conducted.
It is performed in an informal, and open atmosphere where you and your spouse can decide what is best for your children, rather than having a judge make these decisions for you. Once you reach an agreement, it will be entered as a court order.
Benefits of Mediation
As compared to the adversarial court process, mediation is very different, and here's why:
- You have more control over the outcome
- Mediation is confidential
- It is faster
- It is less expensive
- It allows you to express your opinions
- It allows you to discuss the results that you want
- It's less stressful
- It's easier on the children
If you both agree to mediate, before the mediation, you and your spouse will be interviewed separately to find out if mediation is appropriate for your situation.
There are circumstances where mediation may not be appropriate; for example, in cases of domestic violence, if your spouse has ever threatened to hurt you or your children, if there is a Protection from Abuse Order against your spouse, and if you are not comfortable openly expressing your wishes in front of your spouse.
If you believe that your divorce case would benefit from mediation, the good news is that mediation does not delay the divorce process.
To learn more about child custody and mediation in Pennsylvania, contact Cairns Law Offices!