Child Custody Litigation vs. Mediation

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What is Child Custody Mediation?
Mediation is a non-antagonistic practice where a mediator meets with the parties to help them determine the best custody situation.  The mediator does not have power to force a result on the parties, but can assist them in creating their own agreement.

Is Mediation a Better Option than Litigation?
The following reasons favor the use of mediation over litigation for resolving custody and visitation disagreements: 

Can Mediation Work Even if My Ex-Spouse and I Cannot Work Together?
Mediators are very skilled at getting combative parents to cooperate.  Mediators are also skilled at getting the parents to recognize how cooperation is good for the children, and then move towards reaching an agreement.

What if There Is a History of Abuse?
If a history of abuse exists or the parents simply cannot stand one another, the mediator can act as a “go-between” conveying messages to parents in separate rooms until an agreement is reached. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Child Custody Mediation?
If you are looking to establish or modify child custody or visitation, it is generally wise to consult with a family lawyer.  An experienced family lawyer has experience dealing with the complicated court system and can work to protect your relationship with the child.

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Last Modified: 10-14-2010 02:34 PM PDT

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