Most people think mediation is only available to negotiate divorce matters like property division and spousal support. However, it is also available across a range of family law issues.
For example, you and your co-parent can use mediation to agree on child custody terms and a parenting plan. As a lower-cost alternative to courtroom family law proceedings, mediation can meet your family’s needs when making custody decisions.
What are some other benefits of custody mediation?
As you may know, child-related issues are responsible for some of the delays in divorce. Mediation serves as a platform that parents can use to air out custody disputes in an informal environment. In most situations, mediation can help parents find a mutually satisfactory solution.
Other advantages include the following:
- It is overseen or guided by an unbiased third party.
- What you say during mediation typically cannot be used as evidence against you.
- Mediation is usually much less stressful than court proceedings.
- You may reach an agreement in less time than you would in court.
- Parents retain control over the negotiations.
- The neutral mediator helps you both stay focused on relevant topics and goals.
- Successful mediation often leads to better communication and cooperation between parents.
Even if you and your co-parent cannot spend time together without fighting, mediation can still work. Each parent may attend separate sessions to avoid pervasive hostility. Your mediator will work with each parent separately to help you reach an equitable child custody arrangement.
It’s important to weigh your options carefully before choosing between mediation and court proceedings. It is also beneficial to learn more about mediation under Massachusetts law.