As has been discussed on this blog, if you are going through divorce or contemplating divorce, you likely have a lot of legal issues to contend with. Any one of these matters, whether property division, alimony, or child custody, and be hotly disputed, and it may be difficult to come to an agreement. Oftentimes, child custody issues are especially emotional, as parents may disagree with each other's parenting style. Yet, even if parents want to share custody, figuring out a custody arrangement can be complicated.
For those who wish to avoid airing their dirty laundry in front of a court, they may be able to come to an agreement through mediation. Mediation is typically non-adversarial with a third-party neutral individual directing the conversation. This mediator will try to help the couple determine what is best for the child and what actions will help support the best interests of the child. The process may be quicker than taking the matter to court, and a successful mediation may set the tone for you and your ex-spouse's relationship moving forward.
Each party to a mediation can, and probably should, retain their own attorney. A family law attorney can help ensure that your mediation is going according to plan and will make sure that your best interests are represented. A family lawyer can also assist you in illustrating how the outcome you seek best supports your child's interests.
In the end, divorce is about finding a better life for everyone involved. Though the news is often saturated with heated squabbles over divorce issues that does not always have to be the case. Instead, couples, with their attorneys by their side, can work together to find a way move forward with less negative animosity.
Source: FindLaw, "Child Custody Mediation FAQ," accessed on Aug. 22, 2015