Divorced parents in North Carolina and across the United States usually have a child custody arrangement. A joint custody agreement determines which parent the child will spend holidays with, when the child will visit each parent and other important matters.
If your ex informs you that he or she would prefer to meet with a child custody mediator to create a custody agreement, understanding how to approach the situation can be difficult or even confusing. Child mediation refers to the process of consulting with a professional mediator to resolve certain legal disputes. This third-party, neutral individual will try to help parents navigate through issues like child support, visitation, custody agreements and more.
If your ex presents you with a request to meet with a professional mediator, begin by considering whether the arrangement could be beneficial to you and your child. As long the court hasn’t ordered you to attend the session, you’re free to decide whether you’d like to attend or not.
No matter what you decide, it’s important to inform your ex about your decision in writing. That way, if you end up in court later on, you’ll have proof that you communicated with your ex about your decision. If you decline the mediation session, explain your reasoning why in the letter.
If you agree to a mediation session, knowing what to expect can be helpful. Most sessions last two to three hours, and the mediator typically facilitates each step. You may be asked a series of questions about important issues that need to be addressed. If you and your ex reach an agreement, the mediator will help you write a formal agreement.
Resolving legal disputes pertaining to your children can be a difficult situation to navigate, especially when emotions are running high. If you’re in this situation, you may consider consulting with an attorney experienced in custody mediation.