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How can mediation help with child custody issues?

On Behalf of | Aug 6, 2021 | Custody and Parenting Time |

As a Wisconsin parent who has split from your spouse or partner, you will probably have custody issues. If your ex decides that they want the two of you to try mediation for your child custody matters, here is what you should know about the process.

What happens during child custody mediation?

If you and your ex ultimately choose mediation to decide your child custody and parenting time, it can benefit the both of you and your child. Child custody mediation is a process that allows you to work together and negotiate matters related to child custody, visitation and child support. You meet with a mediator, a neutral third party, who helps you to come up with an arrangement that works for everyone. With mediation, you can also save a good amount of money compared with going to court.

What should you do if your ex brings up the idea of child custody mediation?

When your ex tells you that they think you should try mediation for child custody and parenting time, it might throw you for a loop. However, understand that it can be the best thing for you and your child. You should do the following:

  • Consider the request: You may want to strongly consider the request for mediation. If your split was amicable, it could definitely work for you both and your child. However, at the same time, you’re not obligated to absolutely participate in mediation unless ordered by a judge. If your split was contentious, you may have legitimate reasons to be averse to it.
  • Write your response: After you’ve come to a conclusion whether mediation is the right step to take, you should write your response to your ex. It can benefit you in the event that mediation doesn’t work and you end up in court. The judge will see your willingness to participate as a positive. If you don’t want to do mediation, give your reason for it. If your reason is valid, the court will strongly consider it.
  • Show willingness: If a judge orders you to participate in mediation, you should show willingness to do so. Anything less can have negative consequences for you. If you weren’t ordered to participate, you aren’t legally obligated to show any willingness.

What can you expect from mediation?

Mediation can last two or three hours per session. Sessions occur with the mediator asking you and your ex to discuss your respective sides and give reasons for your preferred custody arrangement. If you have any issues that need addressing, you can raise them in your session so that they can be discussed. You should be able to negotiate and come to a conclusion that works for you and your ex.