Child custody mediation can be an effective strategy for California parents to come to an agreement without needing to go to court. However, a problem that frequently arises is if there are allegations of domestic violence. Safety is a key aspect of a potential mediation session and it is important for both parties to understand the rules.
The basics of custody mediation in cases with domestic violence accusations
Mediation consists of one or more sessions prior to the court formulating a parenting plan. The mediation is overseen by a professional who is experienced in fostering discussion and facilitating amicable agreements. Failing to come to an agreement will mean that the case is sent to court with the judge making the decision on the parenting plan. If domestic violence allegations are made, that adds another layer to the negotiations.
The parent who is claiming abuse can meet separately with the mediator. A support person can be brought to the session but cannot speak or represent the parent. For child custody and parenting time cases in which there is fear about the other parent being alone with the child, there can be supervised visitation. Child exchanges can be arranged in advance with precautions taken.
Having professional help is key with custody mediation
California courts strive to serve the child’s best interests in a child custody and parenting time case. That takes precedence over all other factors. Domestic violence is a problem that the court will address. The parents should be aware of their rights in these situations. Simply because there were accusations of domestic violence does not automatically make them true. Parents who have faced abuse have the right to be protected. These cases can be complicated and it is imperative to have legal guidance from the outset.