How Custody X Change Helps With Mediation
If you and the other parent decide to use mediation to work out a custody agreement and parenting plan, Custody X Change is a powerful tool that helps you get ready.
In mediation, both parents sit down with a neutral third person and decide the terms and conditions of the agreement. Before you go, you should prepare and organize your thoughts so you can explain your ideas to everyone else.
Custody X Change can help you do several things:
- Create example parenting plans to show the other parent and the mediator
- Organize your ideas so that you don't leave out anything important
- Bring documents that clearly show what you want for the agreement
- Make suggested changes to your plan after mediation
- Work out an agreement that both you and the other parent are happy with
Custody X Change allows you to create sample parenting plans to show at mediation. This is useful because you want to have options as you and the other parent discuss what is best for your child. If you have several options that are acceptable to you, you can be more flexible in your negotiations.
Each sample parenting time schedule can include:
- Residential schedules
- Holiday schedules
- Set and floating vacation times
- School breaks
- Special events
With several different schedules to show the other parent, you can quickly determine which one is most appealing to you both. You can also show each parent's timeshare percentage from each parent schedule.
Along with showing sample schedules, you can prepare a list of parenting provisions you want in the agreement. Custody X Change includes a list of provisions to choose from. These will also prompt you to think of additional provisions that are unique to your case. Simply print off the list of provisions so you can discuss them during mediation.
Once you have a few parenting plans created and printed out, you'll be able to organize your thoughts and ideas before your meeting. This is essential when going to mediation so that you and the other parent talk about all of the important custody issues.
Here are some ideas for how to use the software to organize your plans for mediation:
- As you create sample schedules, write down what is important for you in the schedule. If you have a few notes about what the schedule must have, you'll be better prepared to know what aspects you can be flexible about and what is a necessity.
- As you look through the provisions, think about your unique circumstances and come up with some personal provisions you think will help make the parenting plan work. Think specifically about any problem areas so that you and the other parent can find some solutions.
- Use the documents from the program to present your information in an organized manner. You can organize the documents however you want. For example, you can show entire plans together, or you can show multiple examples of each part of the plan.
The documents from Custody X Change can also help you when you are sitting in mediation with the other parent.
The documents you can print from the program include:
- Calendar version of the parenting time schedule
- Written report of the parenting time schedule
- Written report of the custody provisions and the entire agreement
- Timeshare percentage report that shows the exact time each parent has the children
You can print copies of these documents so that the other parent and the mediator can actually see what you're explaining when you talk about your parenting plans. The other parent can even take some of your plans home to think about it and write down any questions. This allows you and the other parent to reach an agreement more quickly during mediation sessions.
All of these documents can be printed directly from the software or they can be exported to Word, Excel, and PDF. Exporting them to Word allows you to make some personal changes to your plans so you can present exactly what you want.
Many parents meet several times in mediation before they work out an agreement. After you meet for the first time and present your example plans, the other parent may want to make some changes.
When you're using Custody X Change, it's easy to sit at the computer and enter any changes to your plans. Then you can go back to mediation with some new ideas that the other parent will support.
Changing the parenting time schedule. The other parent may want to change some of the visitation times, the holiday schedule or vacation schedule. Once you have feedback from the other parent about what type of schedule he or she wants, you can go back to Custody X Change and make a new schedule that incorporates the changes.
Adding or changing provisions. After the first mediation meeting, you may think of additional provisions to put in the agreement, or you may want to make some wording changes. Just go back to the document in the software and add the provisions or you can export the information to Word and make whatever changes you want.
Present new plan options. When you and the other parent meet again for mediation, you will have some new plan options to present that have the changes from the other parent, plus any changes you want. This will help you reach an agreement more quickly because you don't have to spend hours rewriting plans. Instead, you make a few changes in the software and print out your new plans.
The goal of mediation is for you to come away with a custody agreement that both parents support. Using Custody X Change, you can facilitate this process because you will be prepared and organized for your meetings. This will allow you to focus on the issues surrounding parenting time and come up with an agreement you both like.
You can use the documents directly from the software as your agreement. Both parents can sign the plan, and you can have it recognized as official.
Once your agreement is in place, you can continue to use Custody X Change software because you can track the actual parenting time and keep notes about visitations. This will help you see if your plan is working and whether you need to make changes.