Questions to Ask Your Lawyer About Your Child Custody Mediation

Updated on September 15, 2023
Updated: August 23, 2023

Mediation for child custody can result in different outcomes. The duration of mediation can vary. If no agreement is reached, the court may be necessary. Your state may have child custody mediation laws. Collect all relevant information for mediation. Avoid discussing certain topics during mediation. If the other parent is uncooperative, take appropriate action. Child support is addressed if an agreement is reached.

Over an extended period of time, if no agreement is reached, explore other options. There may be additional resources like child custody dispute parenting classes available. Seek assistance from a child custody attorney such as Tommalieh Law.

What is Child Custody Mediation?

The child custody process of mediation helps parents in custody disputes communicate about their children's lives. A neutral third-party facilitator is present during the child custody mediation session. Mediation can happen privately or in court and benefits both parents and the child. Parents work together during mediation and reach an agreement that suits their family. This agreement includes details about custody, visitations, and holidays.

a paper cut out of a couple arguing at their child custody mediation

Mediation allows for discussion and creates stability for the children. It reduces future disputes and saves money on court battles.

What Questions Should Be Asked of the Family Law Attorney?

Asking questions during a child custody mediation and being prepared can enhance the likelihood of a favorable outcome. Consider factors such as who will be present, what topics will be discussed, and the mediator's approaches. Additionally, it is crucial to understand the process, timeline, potential obstacles, and available options outside of mediation. It is also important to ensure that your rights and interests are represented and to consider the best interests of your child.

Creating a flexible agreement that allows for future changes is also important. If mediation is unsuccessful, it is important to know what happens next. Seek additional resources to better understand and navigate the process.

What to Expect During the Mediation Process?

During child custody mediation, you'll discuss important matters like parenting time, decision-making authority, and financial support. Know what to expect and be prepared.

Ask your lawyer: What is my role in mediation? Mediation helps both parties reach an agreement. The mediator facilitates conversations and encourages compromise. Be informed and ask questions to move things along. Discuss topics, preparation, handling difficult conversations, and what happens if no agreement is reached. How binding is a mediation agreement?

Personal Conflicts Between Parents

What are the legal implications of engaging in personal conflicts with the other parent and is there anything that can be done to minimize personal conflicts between myself and the other parent, how do personal conflicts impact child custody decisions, and how might a court perceive my involvement in these personal conflicts during mediation, and are there alternatives for resolving our disputes without resorting to court involvement?

Negotiating for a Successful Outcome in the Agreement

When negotiating a child custody mediation agreement, ask your lawyer important questions. For example, ask about strategies for a favorable outcome. Inquire about how the mediator handles disagreements. Find out the likelihood of reaching a mutual custody arrangement. Be aware of any legal issues during negotiation. Explore other options if mediation fails.

a little boy looking sad while his parents argue in the background

Understanding the mediation process and asking the right questions is crucial for success. Also, consider personal conflicts and legal ramifications. After discussing rights, both parties can reach a parenting time agreement.

Types of Child Custody Arrangements

When it comes to child custody arrangements, there are a variety of options available depending on the unique circumstances of your family. When discussing your legal options with your lawyer, you should ask about the different types of child custody arrangements that are available, including:

  • Legal Custody: Legal custody involves responsibility for a child and making important decisions about their upbringing. This includes medical care, religion, and education. There are two types of legal custody: sole and joint. Sole legal custody means one parent has complete responsibility and authority. Joint legal custody means both parents share responsibilities equally. Major decisions are made together for the child's benefit. In these cases, one parent has primary physical custody while both parents stay in contact about the child's wellbeing.
  • Physical Custody: Physical custody is a part of family law. It means a parent has the right to care for their child every day. The custodial parent is responsible for the child's care and decisions about their well-being. A court decides physical custody in divorce or paternity cases. It can be sole or joint custody. Both parents should have equal access to the child for their happiness and well-being.
  • Primary Custody: Primary custody is when one parent has most of the responsibility for the child and makes most of the decisions. The other parent may get to visit the child but doesn't have as much say.
  • Sole Custody: Parents may seek sole custody if they cannot agree on sharing custody. In this situation, one parent has complete legal and physical custody. This happens when one parent is unfit due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or substance dependency. Sole legal custody is rare and gives the custodial parent full decision-making authority. The noncustodial parent has limited or no access to the child. Agreements can vary, with some parents alternating weeks and others giving up visits. Finding a mutually beneficial solution is important.
  • Joint Custody: Joint custody is a common option for divorcing parents. Both parents play a role and have equal rights and responsibilities. Legal custody involves making decisions together, while physical custody means sharing time with the child. The parents work together to create a balanced and healthy environment for their children. The child's best interests are the top priority.

Creating a Parenting Plan During Mediation

A parenting plan is necessary for successful co-parenting after divorce. It is a written document that outlines how to raise children together. The plan includes major decisions like visitation, education, health, and religion. This prevents conflicts and ensures clarity for each parent's expectations.

a cut out of a family standing on top of blocks spelling the word "custody"

Creating a parenting plan benefits both parties. It provides guidance and a roadmap for resolving issues. It allows for communication and autonomy in decision-making. This reduces stress and maintains healthy relationships despite changes in living situations.

Living Arrangements and Visitation Schedules

The visitation schedule depends on the discussion setting. If custody is decided through mediation, parents can work together on a schedule. If they can't agree, they can present proposals to the court. The judge will review before making a decision.

Alternatively, a Request for Order can be filed, where one parent outlines desired terms for the court to decide. Parents should consider what's best for their children and create a proposal that meets everyone's needs. Time with each parent and visit frequency are important factors. Find a schedule that respects everyone's rights and works for all involved.

Division of Responsibilities for Medical Care and Education

When engaging in child custody mediation, there are several questions to ask your lawyer about the division of responsibilities for medical care and education. These questions may include:

  • 1. What types of medical care decisions can be included in a child custody agreement?
  • 2. Who will have the authority to make decisions regarding the child's medical care?
  • 3. Are there any restrictions on which medical professionals the parents can choose for their child?
  • 4. What type of educational options are available to the child and who will be responsible for making decisions regarding their education?
  • 5. Are there any restrictions on which schools or educational institutions the parents can choose for their child?
  • 6. Who will be financially responsible for medical care and educational costs associated with raising the child?
a couple arguing during their child custody mediation

Setting Financial Support Payments for the Child or Children

Questions to ask your lawyer about setting financial support payments for the child or children in a child custody mediation include:

  • What are the legal guidelines for calculating child support payments in my state?
  • How do I ensure that all necessary expenses are taken into consideration when determining support payments?
  • How should I structure any lump sum payments for the children?
  • Can I adjust the support payments over time to reflect changes in my financial situation?
  • Are there any tax implications associated with child support payments?
  • Are there any other financial responsibilities that I should consider when creating a child custody agreement?

Call Tommalieh Law Today for a Free Consultation

If you are dealing with child custody mediation and have questions about the process, you should call Tommalieh Law today to get further support. At Tommalieh Law, we understand custody law. Our highly experienced family law attorneys understand how important it is for you to ensure that your children's best interests are taken into consideration during the mediation process.

When you call us, we will be able to answer any child custody issues and child custody mediation questions you may have and provide guidance on how to best negotiate the terms of your child custody agreement. Contact us today to learn more about our successful child custody mediation services and how we can help you.

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