When parents are divorced or separated, it’s often the father who loses out on spending time with the kids. Unfortunately, this can really affect a child’s life as they grow up. Living in a fatherless home increases the risk of many things, such as higher crime, more incidence of drug and alcohol use, and lower performance in school. If you’re trying to have more contact with your kids, mediation is your first step before seeking assistance from the courts. Here’s how it works and how it can help you get more time with your kids.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a step that mothers and fathers can use to solve custody disputes that arise during a divorce. A neutral third party is hired to help them work through and resolve the differences they may have regarding custody and the time that dad gets to spend with his children. Look for a qualified family law attorney who has been trained in mediation to help you get this process started.
How Does Mediation Work?
Most of the time mediation is a voluntary choice, but in many instances, it is required by the courts before a judge will make a ruling on the issue. There are several steps that need to be taken during mediation. The first step is to meet with the chosen or appointed mediator, then identify the issues that are disagreed upon. Next, the mediator will help the parents come up with solutions they can both agree on. Finally, a custody agreement is decided upon and signed by both parents. The amount of time spent in mediation depends on how complicated the custody issues are and how willing the parents are to work on solving them.
Preparing for Mediation Camberley
Before arriving at your first mediation appointment, there are some things you can do to be prepared and get things off on the right foot. Consulting with a family law attorney allows you to know and understand your rights as the father as well as your responsibilities in getting and keeping custody. Bring a written schedule of your time with your child as well as a custody and visitation proposal to share with your child’s mother. You’ll also want to have all your child’s pertinent records, including medical, report cards and any other correspondence regarding the custody dispute.
Your custody agreement should take into account holidays, transportation needs, where the exchange between parents will take place, and which parent will be responsible for dropping off or picking up your child.
A Successful Mediation
Mediation can drag out for a very long time if neither parent is willing to budge. The best way to solve the dispute and come to an agreement that both parents and the child can agree to is to be reasonable, mature, and willing to bend a little. Unless you fear that your child isn’t safe with his or her mother, it’s best to be open to working out a fair schedule that benefits everyone. But it’s also most important to remember that your child is already suffering the effects of the divorce so coming to a custody agreement in their best interests should be your ultimate goal.
Fathers shouldn’t have to give up their time with their children and agreeing to mediation is a way that can solve the problem and ensure that dads get the time they deserve and want with their children.