If you and your child's other parent have a disagreement over child custody issues, court may be looming in the future. But before you head to court, you may want to try mediation to resolve your child custody agreements. Mediation is so beneficial that many family lawyers recommend it and many counties are beginning to require both parties participate in mediation before a case be heard in the courtroom. If you do not live in a county that mandates it, you may find yourself wondering if it is ideal in your situation. Learning the pros and cons can help you decide if you want to participate in issues related to child custody. Here are a couple of those pros and cons.
Cons of Mediation for Child Custody
- Mediation Can Be Expensive
Many people have a misconception that mediation is cheaper than going to court. If you can come to a quick resolution with your child's other parent, this may be the case. However, mediation can also drag on for several hours. During this time, you will have to pay the mediator and a family lawyer, if you choose to have one present. In some cases, the cost of mediation can end up outweighing the cost of court. And in some cases, you may try mediation and still end up in court, resulting in an additional cost.
- Both Parties Have to Be Able and Willing to Communicate
The other disadvantage to mediation is that it only works if both sides are able and willing to communicate. Mediation is a negotiation process of sorts. If one party cannot communicate without being verbally abusive, or if one party is unwilling to budge from their position no matter what, mediation may be a waste of everyone's time.
Pros of Mediation for Child Custody
- Keeps You Out of the Courtroom
One of the biggest benefits to mediation is that, if mediation works, it can keep you out of the courtroom. People may not want to go to a court for a variety of reasons. They may not have time to take off of work, or family law courts in their area could be backlogged. If you want to avoid going to court for custody issues, mediation can help you do this.
- Allows You Both to Retain Some Control
The other major advantage to mediation for child custody is that it allows you and the child's other parent to retain some control over what happens. When you go to court, you have no idea what will happen. The judge may allow you to have the child on the holidays that are most important to you, or they may not. The judge may take into account your work schedule, or they may not. Being able to come to an agreement with the other parent may allow you to both come to an agreement that works best for the both of you, while still getting the things that are the most important to you and not running the risk of losing them.
Contact a firm like Campbell, Dille, Barnett & Smith, P.L.L.C. to learn more.