HomeLegalChild Custody:  Mediation Conference Is Best For Deciding Custody Issues

Conference Helps Avoid Court Battles Over Custody

Divorce doesn't have to end in a bitter custody battle within the court system. Many times, a custody conference can be an alternative for mutual resolution of the issues at hand. These conferences usually involve mediation that will help separating couples to come to an agreement on their rights and decisions regarding their children. Many states and counties have this procedure outlined and actually prefer this to direct court action. However, the divorcing parties cannot assume that all court systems will cover the cost of the mediation services. In some cases, the separating couple will have to assume the cost of mediation services themselves.

Courts around the country encourage couples seeking divorce to use mediation services to resolve custody issues. In most cases, since divorces take time to finalize, the separating spouses will be told to look into setting up a custody conference date in order to come to an agreement about what is best for the children. The mediator or conference officer will attempt to help both parties come to an amiable decision that will work out for everyone involved. If the custody conference is successful, the appropriate papers will be signed and filed then reviewed by a judge who will make the final decision. The court system is concerned about the needs of both the parents and the children and would rather see the issue of custody solved outside of a courtroom setting.

Custody Conference Leads To Mutual Agreements

During the custody conference the soon to be ex-spouses will decide on whether they will seek joint/shared custody, joint physical custody or sole custody of their children. The choice isn't an easy one. If there is joint custody with a custodial and non-custodial parent, one may have to pay child support if no other arrangements are made. And if one parent decides that they may want to seek sole custody of a child, the mediation may end up turning into a full fledged custody battle if both sides don't agree. The mediator will do his or her best to see that both sides can come to a mutual agreement.

There are instances where a custody issues can't be resolved by mediation. If a custody conference fails to give a divorcing couple what they want, then the issue will lead to a courtroom hearing. Court battles are hard on everyone involved so do your best to avoid one through the mediation options.

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