When you and your spouse are unable to agree on custody arrangements during divorce negotiations, it’s important that you find a way to get past the disagreement. Custody mediation is one method you can use.

With custody mediation, you have three goals. One of the goals is to create a parenting plan that allows you and the other parent to see your children a fair amount. The second goal is to create a plan that works in the best interests of your child. Finally, mediation helps you learn ways to work together, even if you’re struggling with resentment or anger.

For the first goal, a mediator will work with you to determine what each of you believes is a fair amount of time with your children. You need to discuss your current schedules as well as the schedule your child has. Your mediator can help you begin to develop your plan based on those schedules and continue to help you address concerns you have during this process.

Another goal is that you create a schedule that works for your child. For example, if your child has marching band practice every day at 4:00 p.m., it doesn’t make sense to start visitation with a parent across town at 4:15 p.m. Your child would have to miss practice. Instead, look into ways to make time for visitation without disrupting your child’s schedule.

Finally, mediation can help you if you are struggling with resentment. You may no longer love your spouse, but you both need to focus on the health and welfare of your child. A mediator being present can make sure you don’t argue and instead healthily discuss what the problem is in an appropriate manner.

Source: California Courts, “Custody Mediation,” accessed May 26, 2017

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