When the custody of your children hangs in the balance, there is no reason to leave anything to happenstance. Instead, you and your family law attorney should walk into the mediation fully prepared to negotiate for the terms that you want.
If you have chose to mediate your divorce, the following preparation tips may be useful during the process.
Determine what you want
You can't pursue the most favorable terms unless you first identify what you want. Then, you're in a position to strategize for what matters most.
Maybe it's vital that your kids live with you right now because you feel that they are too young to transition from home to home. You should go into mediation armed with evidence to support your viewpoint.
Expect to compromise
But whatever you want to get from mediation, you have to be willing to compromise with your ex as well. Mediation is never a one-way street going only your way.
Be open to creative solutions
Custody matters are rarely one-size-fits-all decisions. The parents' work schedules must be taken into consideration when determining custody of the kids. When kids get older, their preferences often factor in, especially if one parent lives out of their school district. You and your ex may have to brainstorm to come up with the best solution for all.
It's OK not to get it right at first
Drawing up an interim custody plan can provide a trial and error phase where everyone has the opportunity to express their opinions as to how well the custody arrangement works. The parts that work can be incorporated into the final judgment and what doesn't can be reworked until it does.
If you are willing to try mediating your custody arrangements, you may discover the perfect solution that reflects the needs of all parties.