Child custody has always been a sensitive matter for parents and children. The couple often discusses it when the pressures, conflicts, and emotions are very high. Parents and children usually become very overwhelmed by the idea of not living together anymore. Child mediation is the best solution to come up with a parenting plan for the children’s future. If you are considering child mediation, the following are some tips to help you prepare for this process:
• Make a list of your concerns. Start preparing by writing down all the matters you would like to talk about during the mediation process. Also think about how you would like to resolve these issues. By making a list, you organize your thoughts. This enables you to cooperate and negotiate with a clear head.
• Gather enough evidence. If you fear for your children’s safety or worry about their well-being, gather documents that can support your claims. More evidence can shorten the discussion.
• Get the sample custody schedules and agreements ready. Before the mediation starts, you should know what you really want from the process. Do you want a joint custody plan, or do you want the kids to stay with you more? Create a sample plan that includes the days and times the kids will stay with you and with their other parent. Consider the kids’ school schedules, holidays, functions, and vacations. Understand that the sample schedule you prepare will still change because of the compromises you must make.
• Stay calm about the process. Disagreements and confrontations are expected to happen during the mediation process. The have a successful child mediation, you should remain calm. This is the only way you and the other parent could come up with a final parenting plan that benefits everyone. Practice breathing exercises. Though it can be very frustrating, do your best not to lose your temper. Just be willing to make compromises and keep your mind open.
• Talk to your lawyer. Tell your lawyer about your child mediation plan. Even if your lawyer cannot come with you during the mediation process, he or she will be able to come up with a good strategy.
Child mediation can be grueling for the parents and the children. Make it while remaining collected. Always keep your children’s well-being in mind and by the end of the process, everything will be OK.