Child custody agreements are often difficult to negotiate. The parents of the child likely both want things to be set up the way they think is best, but that might not be possible. It is important for any parent who is going through a child custody matter understands some basic points about child custody mediation.

Child custody mediation is a way that parents can work together to come up with a custody agreement that puts the child’s interests first. Think about what happens when you go to court and let a judge decide on the arrangement. You are asking someone who doesn’t know your child as well as you know your child to make decisions about your child. This might not truly be the best option for your case.

If you opt to use mediation, you will have help from a mediator. The mediator is someone who is trained to handle the issues that are bound to come up during child custody negotiations. The non-adversarial process could get your new parenting relationship off to a good start, which could continue on for as long as you are working together for the good of your child.

Typically, mediation offers a faster solution to child custody issues than having to go to a trial. This enables you to get the new plan into place so your child isn’t left up in the air for too long.

If you give mediation a try and can’t come to an agreement, you will still be free to ask the court to make the decisions. Since you don’t actually have to sit in the same room as your ex during mediation, which is helpful if your relationship is truly that bad, you probably don’t have anything to lose by giving mediation a try.

Source: FindLaw, “Child Custody Mediation FAQ,” accessed Nov. 17, 2016