Few things hold the power to harm every member of a family emotionally and financially like a lengthy, bitter child custody dispute during a divorce. If things get exceptionally nasty, the children at the heart of the dispute may never recover from the experience fully, or may project that experience onto all of their personal relationships indefinitely.
Beyond the enormous emotional toll that an ugly custody battle can levy, such disagreements are often enormously expensive for everyone involved, draining precious resources that are surely better used caring for the children than fighting over them. Still, many divorcing parents cannot see past their own heartbreak and survival instincts, pulling the conflict in a needlessly destructive direction.
If you relate to this struggle in your own custody dispute, or if you anticipate your divorce heading in that direction, you should consult with an experienced divorce mediator to see if custody mediation is a good fit for you and your family. Professional divorce mediation allows parents to work together for the best interests of their children, even in instances where there is great conflict between parties.
Advantages of custody mediation
Unlike traditionally litigated divorce, which creates an "us versus them" mentality, custody mediation is always intended to help parents work together for the best interests of the child. A trained mediator works with both parents to help guide them toward fair compromises, allowing everyone to win and keeping the children's needs and interests the highest priority.
Even in cases where two parents find it difficult to remain in the same room together while keeping interactions civil, a mediator can work with couples separately to reach fair agreements.
Furthermore, the agreements that parents create in mediation are legally binding, but do not usually require parents to appear in court. Without requiring a series of court dates to reach resolution, a couple can address divorce and custody disputes without spending months in court, incurring court costs and creating public court documents.
Not only does this usually resolve custody and divorce issues much faster than traditionally litigated divorce, it is usually much less expensive and protects your family's privacy by keeping the matter out of court and out of the public eye.
Do what is truly best for your family
As a parent who cares deeply about your family, you want to make sure that the actions you take in this process do not harm the ones you love or compromise your relationship with them. Even though you may sincerely detest your children's other parent in this moment, your children deserve the best relationship they can have with both parents, and mediators understand this need.
Do not wait to set the tone for your custody dispute and steer your family in a healthy direction during this difficult season. With professional help from a trained mediator, you can protect your rights as a parent while working to provide the best future you can for the children you love.