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The importance of preparation in child custody mediation

Connecticut parents facing divorce may also be considering mediation to work out child custody and visitation issues. One thing those parents may not think about is how to best prepare themselves for the mediation itself. Parents may wish to consider whether they can agree on any points prior to the start of formal mediation. If this is possible, it may make the entire process of mediation go more smoothly.

Individuals heading into mediation should make certain they understand the rules of the local court. In some jurisdictions, this could mean no outside documents like photographs or witness testimony can be brought into the mediation. Parents should also consider whether they want to provide the mediator with a list of people such as teachers, doctors, psychologists or others who may be able to answer questions the mediator has afterward. These collateral contacts can be particularly helpful if special needs children are involved.

Parents should think about the points they want to make during the mediation and make notes to ensure that they do not forget anything. Individuals should try to visit a counselor who specializes in mediation if possible. This type of counselor can help with tips such as how those points are best presented as well as suggesting strategies for dealing with the ex-spouse. If seeing a counselor is not possible, individuals should still make an effort to consider what approaches will give the best results.

Family law mediation may be the solution to a potentially contentious custody battle. An attorney might be able to assist a client in this mediation. With good preparation and a focus on the best interests of the child, mediation may lead to a resolution that satisfies everyone.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce Confidential: Preparing for Child Custody Mediation", Caroline Choi, May 23, 2014

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