Stressful litigation is not your only option when going through a divorce. When making decisions about emotionally fraught topics like child custody, you and your spouse might benefit from mediation.
Mediation can help you create a parenting plan that meets your children’s needs.
What is a parenting plan?
A parenting plan is a legal document that outlines how you and your ex will co-parent your children. Your parenting plan should include a parenting time schedule and address such questions as:
- Where will the children live?
- Who is responsible for transportation?
- Who pays for extracurricular activities?
- What if one parent wants to move?
- Who makes health care decisions?
The law provides general guidelines on these topics, but every family is different, and what works for other families may not work for yours. This is why it is important for you and your co-parent to draft your own parenting plan that suits your circumstances.
How can mediation help?
In mediation, a neutral third party helps you identify the areas in which you disagree and helps you work toward a solution. Even if your divorce is acrimonious, a mediator can help guide the conversation to ensure that you and your spouse remain focused on the best interests of your children.
Unlike a judge, a mediator does not make decisions for you. Rather, the mediator’s job is to help you and your spouse negotiate. After creating a parenting plan in mediation, you must file it with the court. Once the court approves your parenting plan and parenting time schedule, they are legally binding.
Mediation can help you establish a functional co-parent relationship that serves the best interests of your child.