When parents get divorced, they create a custody order that may state who has decision-making authority for the children. It may also create a schedule for parenting time and include conditions placed on a parent for how they may exercise parenting time. Using mediation to create the custody order may be positive for California parents and children in several aspects.
Parents can create flexible agreements in mediation
In the divorce mediation process, parents can create a custody order that is as general or specific as they want it to be. It must be specific enough that the court can enforce it. However, beyond that, parents have wide latitude to fashion an agreement that meets their needs.
Through mediation, parents are able to go into greater detail than in an order that they might receive by going to trial. They can carefully craft an agreement that addresses special needs, transportation logistics, extracurricular activities and more. In addition, the mediation process gives parents the opportunity to negotiate. They can work through the most important items and find places to compromise on issues that are not as critical.
Parents going through a divorce know their own children and their circumstances in detail. They know what issues are the most vital. When they leave mediation with a signed agreement, there are no surprises. By contrast, when they take the case to a hearing, they cannot know for sure what the judge is going to order.
Mediation as a tool for divorcing parents
In the right circumstances, mediation can help divorcing parents create a workable custody and parenting time order. However, mediation is not appropriate in all circumstances, so it’s important for parents to evaluate their situation.