Resources:Tips to Prepare for Child Custody Mediation
When parents are unable to settle custody and visitation arrangement on their own, there are several non-adversarial options available. Some parents turn to trusted advisors or decision makers outside of the legal system, to help resolve issues. A more recent dispute settlement option, that of child custody mediation, has become available in the private sector in all states.
In mediation, decision making remains with the parties. A mediator serves as an impartial third party to assist parents in reaching mutually acceptable agreements. Mediation focuses on collaborative problem-solving and the best interests of all family members in working to resolve custody disputes. These plans often involve agreement to modify the custody plan if it is recognized to be beneficial based on the child's best interest and developmental needs. Sometimes these changes are initiated by the child who wishes to spend more time with the other parent.
While New York does not mandate mediation as a first step, court-connected custody mediation is often available in a discretionary basis. Court related custody mediation can results in high levels of satisfaction, even when the agreements of participants do not always reflect the desired outcome of each one.
Mediation may be the key to solving a dispute involving child custody or visitation. These frequently asked questions introduce you to the process.