Best interests of the child important in child custody mediation

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Besides dividing property they've accumulated over the years, a married Virginia couple who divorces may find themselves also having to divide their time with their children. It’s unfortunately a tough reality for moms and dads are unable to remain married due to irreconcilable issues. Many families today, however, are making the process of sharing time with their kids work by focusing on the best interests of the child and using mediation to come to an agreement.

Some individuals simply can’t establish a parenting schedule that satisfies both parties without the intervention of a judge. In other cases, the parents are able to work out childcustody issues on their own through mediation. During a mediation meeting, both individuals work with a mediator to try to create an effective parenting schedule that is a good fit for the entire family.

Coming up with a mutually workable solution requires communication, compromise and patience. It’s important that people know exactly what they want and then voice their concerns during the meeting. Writing down these concerns and any proposals that come to mind can help a person to stay focused at the mediation, especially if he or she becomes emotional. It may also be beneficial to bring contact information for the children’s doctors, psychologists or teachers just in the case the mediator may need to clarify questions or verify information regarding the children and the family.

Mediation can be a helpful way of developing a fair child custody agreement that will be in the best interests of the child long-term. In this way, both the parents and the children can walk away from the divorce situation as content as possible, considering the circumstances. A mediator may also address other matters, such as the division of marital property. Mediation might be a suitable option for couples in Virginia who prefer to avoid court intrusion during their divorce proceedings.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce Confidential: Preparing for Child Custody Mediation", Caroline Choi, May 22, 2014

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