A few years ago, I was in a pretty serious car accident. During the aftermath, I became really familiar with a lot of different types of lawyers. I worked with personal injury lawyers, insurance lawyers, and many others. Perhaps the most important, though, was the estate planning lawyer. I was really young, and neither my wife or I had thought about starting a will. But the accident kind of scared us into it. What would happen if one of us were to die? Even when still in the hospital, I was working with the lawyer to draw up a will. Now, I have some peace and security about what the future will be like if something should happen to me. And I have a lot of experience working with various types of lawyers! The accident was kind of a blessing in disguise in that way.
If you're in the middle of a divorce, one of the most important steps you may be dealing with soon is child custody mediation. This is a process that allows you and your ex to skip a legal battle and work together with a mediator to reach a favorable decision for all, especially the children. To leave the mediation session happy with the outcome, there are three things you should do to prepare.
1. Go In With an Open Mind
Too often divorced parents go into a mediation session armed for battle. During this process, it's important that you separate your feelings for your ex from this process entirely and focus only on the task at hand.
When you enter mediation with an open mind, you're keeping your children's best interests at the forefront. An open mind means you're willing to compromise and make a plan that will work for you, your ex, and your children. While you may feel the urge to dig your feet in on certain issues, it's likely that the mediator can help you and your ex to come up with a mutually beneficial plan, but only if you're willing to listen.
2. Bring With You a List of Questions and Concerns
It's likely that you have a list of logistical questions and concerns regarding child custody – it's important to get these on paper prior to the mediation session so all of your concerns can be addressed.
It's normal to be concerned about your children and be nervous about how a custody arrangement will work. A pre-written list of any questions and concerns you have regarding custody will likely be a huge help during the session. Such questions may include what happens if someone is required to move for work or what will happen to the custody agreement if one spouse remarries. Whatever concerns and questions you have, mediation is the time to bring them out into the open and get the answers and assurances you need.
3. Consult with An Attorney Prior to the Mediation
Even if you and your ex have decided not to bring attorneys into the mediation session, consulting with an experienced family law attorney can help you immensely.
Divorce is a time of chaos, so it's important to have a solid source of knowledge who has your best interests in mind. When it comes to child custody, an experienced attorney can help you in a number of ways. They can help you to come up with questions you should ask during the mediation session, they can help you come up with a sample custody schedule, and they can even help you to understand your rights and the rights of your ex when it comes to seeing and caring for your children so that there are no surprises during the process. Contact a local lawyer, like Garrett & Silvey Law Firm, for more information.Share
21 October 2015