How to Win Child Custody Mediation In San Diego

Child custody is a complex and highly emotional area of family law. If you and your co-parent are headed into a child custody case, mediation is something you should familiarize yourself with, especially with the help of Boyd Law’s experienced San Diego child custody attorneys. Successful mediation can achieve a resolution that works for everyone while keeping your case out of court. It can allow you to achieve your child custody goals with less stress for the whole family.

What to Expect From Child Custody Mediation in California

Child custody mediation is a meeting between an unbiased third party who is trained in conflict resolution (the mediator) and two parents involved in a custody or visitation dispute. The mediator’s role is to help both parties resolve the legal dispute. During mediation, the mediator will facilitate communication, negotiation and compromise between the parties. He or she cannot make decisions for the parents, provide legal advice or make a child custody court order.

In California, two parents who are looking to get divorced or legally separated will have the opportunity to come up with their own child custody agreement outside of court. If they can agree on physical and legal custody of a child they share, a judge will most likely sign off on the agreement. This is typically the most desired legal resolution for parents, as they can keep the matter out of court and remain in control of the outcome.

Tips for Successful Child Custody Mediation

While neither parent necessarily “wins” mediation, as it is a mutual agreement between both parties, you can work out a desirable custody schedule for your situation by keeping an open mind and preparing ahead of time. As a parent about to engage in child custody mediation, there are things you can do to improve the odds of achieving your desired outcome:

  • Prepare and plan ahead. Explore ideas for parenting time schedules in advance and have a few options that work for you in mind. You or your lawyer can draft documents such as parenting time calendars, a list of terms and provisions, and timeshare percentages to bring to mediation. Write out a list of questions and concerns to ask, as well.
  • Focus on the child’s best interests. Do not lose sight of the goal of custody mediation. Overall, the right child custody plan will protect your child’s best interests, meaning his or her physical, emotional and psychological well-being. The courts will not sign off on an agreement that potentially risks the child’s welfare.
  • Avoid common mistakes. Do not go into mediation with the mindset that you will not consider anything except the exact parenting plan you want. Mediation is a collaboration; for it to work, both parties must have an open mind and be willing to compromise for the good of the child. Do your best to listen, control your emotions, cooperate and avoid confrontation.
  • Communicate effectively. Successful mediation relies on good communication. Write down issues you want to discuss so you don’t forget anything important. Listen to the mediator and apply his or her advice. Remain calm, courteous and professional. Remember to be open-minded and receptive; you can combine schedule ideas until you have one that works for everyone.

Most importantly, know when to hire a family law mediator. An experienced attorney can guide you through this form of alternative dispute resolution with in-depth knowledge of the law and legal advice that is personalized for your unique situation. You can trust your lawyer to fight for your goals, work toward your desired mediation outcome and protect your family. Call Boyd Law at (916) 840-2050 to request a free case consultation about child custody mediation to learn more.