If you are in the process of divorcing and you are fighting for custody of your child, coming to an agreement regarding temporary custody and visitation rights is important to both parties involved. Often, a divorcing couple will have trouble coming to an arrangement each party will be happy with, making it necessary to have lawyers and a mediator involved in the process. Here is a summary of what you can expect during a mediation session and some tips to use to help you to come to an agreement you can live with regarding temporary custody of your child.
What Happens At A Mediation Session
When you go into a mediation session, your attorney will most likely go into a closed room setting with your spouse's attorney and the mediator. The lawyers will each have a chance to dictate what each party wishes to happen regarding custody. This information will be conveyed to you away from your spouse, their attorney, and the mediator to see how you feel about your spouse's wishes.
You will be able to agree or disagree with their wishes, and offer an alternate solution if you have one. This will be conveyed and debated by both lawyers. This happens over and over until a decision can be agreed upon. You will then go into the room with all other parties involved, listen to the agreed upon temporary custody rules, and sign paperwork in agreement.
Let Your Lawyer Guide You
Your attorney has most likely been through several divorce cases before yours, giving them the edge in the lingo and the expectations from the other party regarding your child's well-being. When your attorney hears what your spouse is asking for regarding temporary custody, they will be able to retaliate with an offer of a bit less, but still with some favorable points that your spouse may consider.
For example, if your spouse wants full custody without allowing you visitation at all, you may be able to retaliate with a request for supervised visitation so you can still see your child during the interim before your court appearance. Your spouse may agree because they will feel safe knowing the child is being watched by an impartial party. If your spouse wants joint custody with you having weekends only, you may be able to retaliate with weekends and every other Wednesday. Your spouse may agree because you are only asking for two additional days a month.
Don't Settle For Less
You will most likely need to go through the bartering process several times before you come to a favorable agreement. When you are in this process, do not settle for something you do not feel is good enough, as in a lot of instances the judge may use the temporary custody agreement as the guideline for the permanent custody agreement when you go to court. For this reason, it is important to agree to custody arrangements you would be happy with continuing for a while.
If you are adamant that the arrangements your spouse is asking for are not going to work for you, the mediator will step in and make an arrangement for both of you. This is why working with your spouse regarding custody issues in a civil way could have a better outcome for you and your child, rather than having someone else make an arrangement neither party agrees with.
Talk to a family law expert for more help.