In the Best Interests of the Kids: Making Decisions for the Children And Not for You

In the Best Interests of the Kids: Making Decisions for the Children And Not for You

The emotions of parents can become very intense during the divorce process, most especially with discussions regarding their children. These emotions can lead to stress on the children, while the decisions made are not always in their best interests. This is why child custody mediation is beneficial as it helps prevent intense emotions and allows a custody agreement that is in the best interests of the children.

Do You Know What Mediation Is?

This is a process where parents sit down with a mediator who assists in settling their dispute. This mediator helps the parents create an agreement without forcing them to agree on a particular setting. In typical custody settlements, the disputes become hostile and the decisions made are often in the best interests of the adults and not the children. However, when mediation is used, parents allows better child custody flexibility and parent cooperation, prevents stress, avoids affecting the children and reduces time and expenses needed for court. Mediation is non-adversarial, as parents have to collaborate and negotiate with each other to create a custody agreement.

How The Children Benefit

In mediation, the best interests of the children is the main focus, thus they benefit the most from it. They are not caught in the middle of the grudges, bickering and yelling, then forced to pick sides. The mediator encourages the parents to always focus on the children, to consider their needs and then determine how they can provide the best agreement.

How Parents Benefit

The parents also benefits from mediation as they are pushed to focus on the future and not their past relationship and problems. Parents can calmly discuss on a custody plan based on the future of their children and not blame each other on who caused the marriage to fall apart.

The Need For Flexibility In Custody Agreements

In court proceeding, it is the judge who decides custody agreements. In mediation, custody agreements are flexible as they are created unique to suit the special needs of every family situation. Parents have the reigns to the custody plan and tailor it according to the needs of their children and theirs. As a matter of fact, this type of flexibility is often preferred by parents over what a judge may decide.

Court child custody litigation can be time consuming and expensive as well, but mediation can save you from legal fees and the amount of time needed in the divorce and child custody process. However, mediation is not always for everyone when parents are unable to cooperate and come up with a suitable plan. In such cases, it may be best for the children and parents that a stricter child custody plan be enforced. According to Tad Nelson & Associates, "Courts use a "best interest of the children" standard to resolve the question of child custody. Although a number of factors are taken into consideration, joint custody is generally favored with mom's house being designated as the children's primary residence. However, this type of arrangement is by no means the rule and where circumstances warrant, courts have shown no hesitancy to do what's best for kids." As such parents will no longer have the flexibility they could have enjoyed during mediation.

Overall, mediation certainly offers many benefits, but it is not always for everyone. Discussing such issues with a lawyer is often the best step to take in order to understand legal rights and child custody. If a custody agreement had been created during mediation, a lawyer can always review it and advice on the protection of parental rights.



Valerie Terger is a freelance writer specializing in various criminal cases, relationship and family legal affairs, and the latest apps and devices used in legal matters.

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