If either partner in a divorce is fighting over custody of a child or parenting decisions, try a mediator. While most people have heard of a mediator, they may not be quite sure what they do or how to use them. A professional mediator is basically a neutral third party that will help the two parents discuss any issues at hand and make a decision.
The mediator's role is to get the discussion started by identifying the problems and then guiding the conversation. However, once a decision is made, a mediator is unable to give legal advice.
If this is needed or a decision cannot be reached, it will then be up to the family court in their area to make the decision. On the other hand, if the two parents are able to come to a decision, a mediator can be a much more financially sound way of discussing the issues at hand. Of course, there are a few other reasons why a mediator may be preferred over the court. By settling something out of court, the parents have greater control over the parenting decisions that are made.
If they can come to an agreement instead of having a judge make the decision, it will allow them to come up with their own terms and present them to the court for approval. This typically makes it a more satisfying environment for everyone involved and that is an important aspect of any case like this.
When one party feels that they are not being heard, they are less likely to hold up their end of the bargain. That is one of the more frustrating things about going to court, the parents don't have a lot of control over the outcome.
An additional plus is that everything settled during a mediation is fully confidential. No one involved can discuss the issues raised with anybody else. Before going to court where children are involved, the divorcing parents should consider talking to a mediator in their area.