Child Custody Mediation Checklist
Many divorcing couples are able to avoid litigation by going through the mediation process. In fact, in Florida most couples are required to at last attempt mediation before they can take their case to trial. This is an especially important option for parents, whose children could suffer from a long, drawn-out legal battle. There are a few things that parents can do to prepare for divorce mediation proceedings, so if you and your child’s co-parent have decided to separate, you should think about reaching out to an experienced Fort Lauderdale child custody lawyer who can walk you through these steps before your first meeting.
What to Bring to Your Meeting
Deciding how you and your child’s other co-parent will share parenting responsibilities can be complicated. While a mediator, as well as your attorney, will help guide you through the process, it never hurts to come prepared, so when you attend your first child custody mediation, you should be sure to bring a few specific things, including:
- Your desired parenting schedule;
- Any special arrangements for holidays, birthdays, and vacations;
- Notes about any issues you would specifically like to address during the meeting;
- A breakdown of your child’s current day-to-day schedule; and
- Notes about your child’s specific physical or emotional needs.
Coming prepared with this information can go a long way towards jumpstarting your child custody negotiations and can show the mediator that you are serious and focused on your child’s best interests.
Remember to Keep an Open Mind
While you may have a specific time sharing schedule in mind when you attend mediation, it’s important to remember that you probably won’t get the exact arrangement that you want. Rather than becoming angry in this situation, it’s important to remain calm and focused on your child’s best interests. By keeping an open mind, you will be more likely to reach an agreement that works for both you and your former partner and that is also best for your child.
Work with an Experienced Child Custody Attorney
By coming to mediation prepared, you will be more likely to get an advantageous settlement. These negotiations can, however, be highly nuanced, so you should strongly consider working with (and bringing) an experienced child custody attorney with you to the meeting. A dedicated attorney will be able to help you comply promptly and efficiently to any requests by the mediator, can help you stay on topic and focus on the outcomes that you want, and can represent you in court if the mediation is unsuccessful.
Assisting with Child Custody Mediation Proceedings
There is a lot at stake during child custody mediation proceedings. Fortunately, you do not have to go through this ordeal alone. To set up a free consultation with dedicated child custody attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A., please call 954-945-7591 or fill out one of our online contact forms. A member of our legal team is standing by to start working on your case, so don’t hesitate to call or contact us online at your earliest convenience.