Child custody mediation with Albuquerque family law
It doesn’t matter if it’s a divorce or another type of separation between parents, the hardest part – with sometimes bitter battles – is over the custody of a child. Both parents want to remain an integral part of their child’s life, making it extremely difficult to come to an agreement on their own.
The first step is coming up with a custody and time sharing plan that considers all circumstances, keeping in mind the child’s interests first and foremost. With the help from Family Law Attorney PJ Hartmann you will have the chance to create a child custody agreement that is fair to both parties and will help the child adjust to the new life.
Here are a few important steps you should take before starting child custody mediation:
- Get legal advice from a family attorney to better understand your rights and the legal pitfalls to avoid.
Keep a journal of your and your child’s daily schedule.
- Work with a family lawyer on a written visitation and custody proposal.
- Keep a folder with relevant records about your child such as letters from the school counselor or therapist and report cards.
- When writing your custody proposal keep in mind holidays, birthdays and other special events. Plan pick up and drop off locations.
The mediation process
In some States it is mandatory that child custody disputes go to mediation before the courts step in. In other States it is voluntary. Whichever the case, the steps for mediation follow the same path.
- Set up an initial meeting with the mediator.
- Categorize and identify all issues.
- Discuss options with an amicable attitude.
- Prepare the custody agreement.
Once the process has begun it depends on several factors for how long the mediation process will take. This can include the parents’ willingness to meet an agreement, custody issues and their complexity.
The initial meeting with the mediator.
It is very important to begin mediation with an open mind and a willingness to listen. Remember, the focus is on the best interests of the child.
The mediator will talk with you both, explaining all the steps in the mediation process. The mediator does not represent either of your and will remain neutral. The mediator doesn’t provide counseling or offer legal advice. The mediator’s one job is to help both parties come to a custody agreement that’s reasonable and fair.