Child Custody Mediation
How to prepare for mediation using the Custody X Change tool. Improves communication for both the parents and the professionals involved.
Child custody mediation is when you and the other parent meet with a neutral 3rd party (called a mediator) to make your parenting plan.
The purpose of custody mediation is to help you work with the other parent to make a custody agreement you both support. In mediation, the mediator will guide you as you make a parenting plan with information about making decisions for your child, the time your child will be with each parent, how you and the other parent will care for and provide for your child, etc.
This short video shows how you can use our software to create your own parenting plan.
To prepare for mediation, you should:
- Write down important issues you want to discuss
- Make some sample parenting plans to present
- Create some parenting time schedule ideas to show
- Write down your work schedule, your child's school holiday schedule, the times of your child's extra events, and other important dates
- Write down concerns that you want your custody agreement to address
Custody X Change is a great tool to help you prepare for mediation.
Custody X Change is custody software that helps you create parenting plans and custody schedules.
With Custody X Change, you can:
- Create sample parenting plans and schedules to show to the other parent and mediator
- Organize your ideas and thoughts so you cover everything you want to in mediation
- Bring documents that show your parenting plan and parenting time schedule ideas
- Easily make suggested changes to your plan after mediation
- Work out an agreement that both you and the other parent are happy with
- Print professional documents of your plan and schedule to submit to court or use when filling out the court forms
Read about all the software's features and watch videos explaining how it works.
Sometimes. Many states require parents to attend mediation before going to court. Check your state and county laws to find out if you have to try mediation.
Even if your state doesn't require you to go to mediation, you may want to look into it. Every state encourages parents to work together to create a custody agreement so even if mediation doesn't work, it will look good in court that you tried it. And, if mediation does work, you will save yourself from a custody battle.
It depends on the type of mediation.
Court ordered mediation: states that require you to attend mediation sometimes have free mediation through the court. Sometimes the court mediation has a fee and you may be ordered t pay part of the fee, all of the fee, or the fee may be waived. The cost of court ordered mediation varies greatly and depends on where you live.
Private mediation: private mediators usually charge an hourly rate or flat fee. The average hourly rate is between 200-400 dollars. When you meet with a private mediator, you will work out a contract for payment. Sometimes the cost of mediation includes filing the plan with the court. Check your area for local rates for mediation.
Generally, working out a custody agreement in mediation is cheaper than going through court to decide your agreement because mediation is faster and takes less hours.
The least expensive option is to work out your own plan using our parenting plan template.
This depends on the number of custody issues to work out, the commitment of the parents in working out an agreement, and the amount of conflict in the custody situation.
If you are in an average custody situation, you can usually create your custody agreement in mediation in a few sessions within a few weeks. If you have a high conflict situation with a lot of issues, it may take a few months in mediation to make your agreement.
Generally a mediation session is 1-2 hours. Sometimes you can meet with a mediator for a longer time and try to work out your agreement all at once.
Yes, it can. Mediation is actually designed to help parents work through conflict to create a plan for child custody. Mediators are trained to help parents resolve conflict and focus on the child.
Mediation is successful when both parents are able to put the needs of the child first and cooperate on a plan. Even if parents have strong disagreements with each other, a mediator can help both parents focus on what is best for the child. This lets them work out a custody plan that everyone supports.
High conflict cases can really benefit from mediation because high conflict cases have a higher chance of repeatedly going to court. Mediation can stop the court cycle because both parents have an equal say in what goes in the agreement in mediation. This can prevent future disagreements and arguments.
Here are some ideas to make mediation successful:
- Go to mediation prepared with example parenting plans and parenting time schedules
- Write down the concerns and issues that you want to discuss at mediation.
- Be flexible about your parenting arrangements
- Listen to the other parent's ideas and concerns
- Do you best to set aside any personal conflicts with the other parent
- Focus on your child as you work out your custody plan
- Don't bring up divorce issues or other outside issues during mediation
- Bring information about your work schedule and your child's school schedule
- Talk to your child about what they want in the parenting agreement (if your child is old enough and mature enough)
- Listen to the mediator
- Get enough sleep the night before
If your state requires custody mediation, you can find a mediator through the court.
There are also private custody mediators. Usually these mediators have a degree in law, social work, or counseling. A mediator should also be trained in custody mediation and have experience.
You can find a private mediator in your area by asking your attorney or the court for recommendations, looking online, or looking in your local directory.
You can use Custody X Change as a family mediator to help your clients work together to make the best possible parenting plan.
With Custody X Change, you can:
- Show visual calendars and other documents to the parents as you discuss various options for the plan
- Go through the holidays with the parents and make a holiday schedule
- Find out the timeshare percentages for various parenting time schedules
- Quickly draft up parenting plans with the terms and conditions of the parents
- Look at custody provisions that the parents may want to include in the plan
- Give parents the complete documents for their parenting plan
- Print child custody calendars with the complete custody schedule
This short video shows how easy timeshare calculations are when you use Custody X Change to build a custody schedule.