Divorce changes pretty much every aspect of life. If a couple shares a child, one of the most important subjects they need to reach a consensus on is the child’s living arrangement going forward. Besides marital property, child custody is usually one of the most contested subjects during the divorce.
The good news, however, is that you can reach a custody arrangement without involving the court. In fact, most family courts encourage divorcing parents to come up with their own parenting plans. But how can you reach a custody plan that works for everyone on your own?
Mediation is the key to a successful out-of-court custody arrangement
Mediation allows couples to settle various aspects of their divorce without involving the court. For mediation to work, you need to work with a neutral party who will help you focus on the issue at hand – coming up with a custody plan that works for everyone.
Here are three tips that can help you keep your emotions in check while mediating your post-divorce parenting plan.
Come prepared – it is important that you have a thorough understanding of your child’s needs and schedules. Additionally, you need to know what California law says about child custody and parenting plans.
Put the child first – for a parenting plan to be approved by the court, it must be focused on your child’s best interests rather than your own. While you might have personal desires and wants, be sure to focus on what is best for your child.
Be a good listener – you will come up with a workable parenting plan if you are ready to be an objective listener. Besides, the other parent will feel acknowledged (and willing to make concessions) if you are ready to listen to them. This is no time to take a hard-line stance.
Custody mediation offers lots of benefits for everyone involved. Find out how you can use mediation to settle child custody as well as the other contentious aspects of your divorce.