Even though mediation is intended to create a non-adversarial environment in which divorcing spouses can negotiate, each party will bring his or her set of preferred terms to the table. And it is not unusual for discussions to grow heated and this can be especially true when the topic at hand is child custody.
If you are about to work out the details of your custody agreement in mediation, it is important to be prepared to state your case. If you have a clear idea of what you want when you walk into your session you have a much better chance of walking out with terms that you find satisfactory.
So to get yourself ready to negotiate, you may want to do the following:
- Create a couple of alternative parenting plans with schedules that take your obligations and your child’s school and activities into account. This gives you a square one from which to start negotiating.
- Draw up a list of your concerns and their possible solutions. Doing this can prepare you for your discussions with your ex.
- If your concerns are especially serious in regard to your child’s well-being, collect documents that demonstrate this belief. Doing so can play a critical role in helping you get terms that protect your child.
Another step you can take ahead of your mediation sessions is to solicit the help of an experienced family law attorney. The attorney can further aid in your preparation by working with you on a mediation strategy. Moreover, the attorney can review and advise you on all of the terms proposed.