Issues related to child custody can be especially difficult, often involving the services of a family mediator. If you’re involved in divorce proceedings which include child custody, we hope you’ll reach out to Hammerle Finley Law Firm and let one of our experienced Family Law attorneys provide you with invaluable assistance.
What Is Mediation In Family Law?
Mediation in family law is a confidential, problem-solving process in which a neutral, skilled third person, the mediator, helps parties in a dispute arrive at a voluntary agreement. The mediator does not decide how the dispute is to be resolved, does not take sides or represent either parent or the child. The mediator helps the parents reach agreements satisfactory to all parties, helping parents and other caregivers, including step-parents and grandparents, resolve their differences and focus their efforts on raising a healthy and happy child.
Who Can Act As A Mediator In Family Law?
Theoretically, anyone can mediate a family law case, but typically the mediator will be an attorney knowledgeable in mediation. Using an attorney is a decision we strongly recommend at Hammerle Finley, as there are many complicated issues related to divorce and child custody that are best handled by an experienced professional.
Advantages of Mediation
Some advantages of child custody mediation include the following:
- It is less expensive and less time consuming than protracted litigation.
- Parties in dispute can control the ultimate outcome, rather than matters being settled by a judge or jury.
- A potentially contentious court fight can be avoided, enabling important personal relationships to be maintained.
Three Tips: A Child Custody Mediation Checklist
With these advantages in mind, here are three tips to help you resolve questions related to child custody in a manner that will be satisfactory to all parties.
Agree to Mediate
First and foremost, given the advantages listed above, the parties involved in a divorce should set aside their personal grievances as best they can and agree that mediation is the wisest course of action. They should then come to the mediation with an open mind, willing to listen and perhaps compromise, never forgetting that the ultimate goal is a settlement that is in the child’s best interest.
Find a skilled, experienced mediator who will always keep your family’s best interests in mind
At Hammerle Finley, the practice of Family Law is one of our specialties, and we have attorneys who can guide you through every step of the mediation process. One of our professionals is Shayna Sanborn, who has practiced Family Law since 2004. In addition to a Juris Doctor degree, she holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Before joining our staff, she worked with the Children’s Assessment Center in Houston, and one of her specialties is mediating child custody issues. Among other things, she can help guide you through the various parenting plans available under Texas law.
Prepare in Advance
In a mediation session, the mediator meets with the parents to try to arrive at a mutually satisfactory custody agreement. If the two parties do not want to be in the same room, the mediator can meet with each separately. The ultimate goal is a peaceful, non-adversarial agreement, and one important step in achieving that objective is to first meet with the mediator in advance of the actual mediation session. During this first meeting, you should outline your case thoroughly so that the mediator has a clear understanding of your position on all essential questions. One suggestion is to prepare in advance a best-interest-of-the-child checklist to help determine which parent would be the better custodian of a minor child.
Get The Help You Need From Hammerle Finley Law Firm in Lewisville, TX
Beyond these words of advice, we invite you to examine our extensive online library of articles dealing with matters related to Family Law, including divorce and child custody. Whether you prefer to speak with our attorneys in person, by phone, online or off-site, Hammerle Finley Law Firm is more than happy to provide the very best in legal assistance as you navigate your family issues. Contact us today to get started.