As you prepare to go to court to see who gets custody of your children, one of the first things you should know and expect is that the court will be making a decision based on what is in the best interests of your children. Many spouses use child custody as a way of being vindictive or trying to get back at the other spouse, so it is crucial that you speak with your lawyer about the best ways you can prepare for a custody battle and what custody mediation may look like. If you are about to embark on a custody battle with your children’s other parent and would like to see what a lawyer can do for you, reach out to a trusted lawyer, like a custody lawyer in Tampa, FL from a law firm like The McKinney Law Group.
How To Prepare For Custody Mediation
As you begin preparing for child custody mediation, you probably want to start by understanding the benefits.
- You and your children’s other parent will have more control over the outcome than you would if you attended court.
- You can feel more private going about child custody decisions than if you had to talk about your arrangement in an open court. If you talk about something in your mediation, it will not be public like it would in a courtroom.
- There is more incentive to follow through with the custody arrangements when you both have had a say in what happens (as opposed to a judge ordering you to go about custody a certain way).
- You can work the custody arrangement out around both parents’ schedules so that there is a better chance no one will flake out on visits or time with the kids.
The ‘Don’ts’ of Mediation
When it comes to mediation there are some things you should and should not do.
- Don’t interrupt while the other parent is talking.
- Don’t get into the nitty-gritty details about your divorce or separation to open up old wounds or make the other parent sound incompetent.
- Don’t provide false or misleading information.
- Don’t treat the mediation like you are in a courtroom. This is an opportunity for you both to be more relaxed and work out a situation that is best for your kids.
- Don’t involve your children in your mediation sessions. You and your children’s other parent should settle this as adults.
The ‘Do’s’ of Mediation
- Do have notes on-hand for what you would like to say
- Do focus on what is best for your children, not necessarily what is best for you
- Do anticipate what you think the other parent will be asking for and be prepared to respond
- Do hire a lawyer to represent you during this process and be there if matters need to escalate to going to court
Child custody can be very difficult and it is essential to remember that every step you take should be in your children’s best interests. For more information on how a lawyer can help you during this time, reach out to a trusted law firm today.