The dissolution of a marriage, even among the most amicable soon-to-be-ex spouses, can bring with it a host of thorny issues that are not easily or immediately resolved. One of the most contentious areas for countless New Jersey couples preparing to split is that of child custody. For this reason, it is often wise to consider the option of mediation as a means to hash out areas of dispute and come to a mutually acceptable agreement.
Choosing mediation over court
When child custody disputes arise, many assume that they will ultimately end up in court for what may be a lengthy and acrimonious process. Fortunately, mediation can be an invaluable resource for mothers and fathers who would prefer to avoid the stress, heartache and expense of a trial involving lawyers on each side.
Those contemplating mediation as a means to resolve a custody dispute should keep the following potential benefits in mind as they weigh the possibilities:
- Less-adversarial approach
- Expedited timeline
- Mediator’s expertise in conflict resolution
- Potential to build a more positive future co-parenting relationship
Though there are some divorcing spouses who assume that the friction between them is simply too great to avoid a trial, the fact of the matter is that a mediator can always work separately with each side to hash out differences, going back and forth until an agreement is achieved.
Paving the way a collaborative future
The process of hammering out a child custody agreement during a divorce is not a prospect anyone is likely to relish. It involves a detailed and sometimes intrusive examination of each parent’s individual circumstances and an honest assessment of what is likely to be in the best interest of the children. As such, growing numbers of parents are turning to mediation for child custody issues as a way to keep the matter out of the courts.
By exploring all of the potential upsides of mediation, soon-to-be-ex partners can cut costs, maintain privacy, gain efficiencies and — perhaps most important of all — work together in a cooperative fashion to provide the best possible future for the youngsters about whom they so deeply care.