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Is Mediation an Effective Way to Handle Child Custody Disputes?

When divorcing or separating couples have children, one of the most important determinations they must make involves where the children will live, how they will be raised and how each parent will be involved in raising them. These are highly personal decisions best left to the parents. The following blog explores what you should know about mediation and how a New Jersey child custody lawyer can help you achieve the results that best serve the best interests of your family.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a conflict resolution method that calls for two parties to discuss their issues and wishes with the assistance of a neutral third-party mediator. This mediator does not offer legal advice, take sides on the matter, or decide the issues. They are there to facilitate open discussion and assist the parents in exploring options so they can devise and agree on a detailed and comprehensive parenting plan.

Can This Be Used for Child Custody Disputes?

Of course, mediation is a confidential process that encourages open dialogue, allowing each party to express their concerns without fear that what they say will be used against them in a court process. Children are generally not involved in the mediation and are thereby shielded from their parents’ disputes.

Also, instead of focusing on the other parent’s flaws, custody mediation forces you to work together to create individual solutions that meet your own and your children’s needs. Not only does this help keep your relationship civil, if not amicable, for the benefit of your children, but it also helps reduce the anger and tension you may feel towards your partner. As such, you and your child’s other parent can work out the best solution for your family while considering each other’s perspective.

Do I Still Need an Attorney?

Though you may be interested in mediating your custody dispute, it’s still important to consult with an attorney. Mediation is not a binding process and the agreements reached with the mediator should be reviewed by an attorney to make sure it covers all the necessary bases and will be practical not only now, but in the future as well. In some instances, clients want attorneys to participate in the mediation sessions. In other instances, attorneys may provide advice as you proceed with mediation and then make sure the final agreement is clear, practical and will be binding.

Additionally, working with an attorney is helpful in the future should you need to modify the agreement for any reason.

At Lawrence Law, our dedicated legal team understands how important your children are when setting up the post-divorce or post-separation for your family. Our team is committed to helping you come to the best resolution for your unique circumstances. Contact our firm today to learn how we can assist you in achieving positive results for you and your children.

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