Child custody matters are always emotional for West Virginia parents. One option for resolving things is mediation. These are some tips on a successful session with your former spouse.
Why using mediation is better than going to court
Relying on mediation to resolve child custody issues instead of going to court might be a healthier option for you and your spouse. It gives you the chance to work together as a team to reach an agreement on the dispute. The two of you meet with a neutral third-party mediator to settle the issue. In the event that you can’t agree, you’ll then go to court.
How to be successful at mediation
Keep in mind that you’re in mediation to focus on child custody. Don’t turn your session into a spousal dispute; instead, focus on your children and anything related to parenting time. Be tactful and think about what you’ll say before you speak as well. Remember that both of you are parents and avoid referring to the kids as “your” instead of “our.”
You might feel emotional because the situation involves your children. However, it’s best to keep your emotions in check and understand that things might become stressful. This is especially true if your divorce has been highly contentious.
Remember that the mediator is not there to take sides; their role is to be impartial and to help you and your former spouse to compromise and work together so that you can find a good middle ground to come to a conclusion on the custody dispute. Don’t try to sway the mediator toward your favor because it won’t work or reflect well on you.
Mediation is often effective at settling child custody matters, but it’s not for everyone.