Is child custody mediation helpful?
Determining child custody in a divorce is not a simple task. The rights, responsibilities and access of each parent to a child are at stake in a child custody process. That is why many parents find it difficult to communicate effectively with the other parent during and after the divorce. If that happens to be the case, the process of establishing a parenting plan may be affected.
In California, a parenting plan is an agreement that indicates how the parents will share their responsibilities of taking care of their child. It includes the details of visitation schedules, how each parent will spend time with the child during weekends, holidays and vacations and limitations of travel and other activities. Aside from that, it outlines the legal custody and physical custody of each parent. Physical custody recognizes where the child lives while legal custody determines how parents will make decisions regarding health care, education and the well-being of the child.
While California parents are eligible to make their own parenting plan after they separate or divorce, there are some people who may have a difficult time creating a parenting plan. Under such circumstances, the court may refer both parents to an alternative dispute resolution called child custody mediation. The family court services may provide the mediation in order to guide parents in resolving disagreements regarding the parenting plan. The mediation is often conducted when it involves a contentious custody battle in which parents cannot come to an agreement or cases where a protective order is issued to either parent.
The end of a marriage may be emotionally challenging for parents. However, divorce does not end their responsibilities and rights to spend time with their child. The parents’ separation can greatly affect a child, but with a parenting plan that focuses on the best interests of the child and each parent respecting the rights of the other, they may be able to overcome those challenges.
Source: California Courts, “Child Custody Information Sheet-Child Custody Mediation,” Accessed Feb. 2, 2015