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Taking care of child custody problems with mediation

For many couples, the most difficult part of a divorce is not dividing property, but dividing time with their children. This is never an easy process for divorced couples. For some, the wounds of a break-up are still raw and constantly communicating with a parent does not help with the situation. However, parents in Pennsylvania should consider that the situation is not about both of them but for the best interests of the child.

Parents who do not wish for court intervention to sort out their child custody and parenting time troubles might want to consider mediation. Nonetheless, parents should not see mediation as a cure-all; the results will still depend on how much effort they put in the process. Here are ways to help parents get a head start.

Voice out concerns and make proposals. Being prepared always has its values, even in child custody mediation. Make a list of concerns and proposals for visitation schedules. If a child has special needs, include collateral contacts. These include teachers, psychologists and doctors that a mediator can contact to verify and clarify the situations about a child's well being.

It is important to clear the air and lay down one's cards on the table. Meet with a family law professional before going to mediation. Going to mediation full of intense emotions will not benefit anyone, including the individual. If emotions are still intense, opening up to a professional may be necessary. A professional can help teach a parent ways to present his or her position effectively without being emotional and deflect any attacks from a former spouse.

Finally, although it seems counterintuitive, talk to a former spouse. Reaching out may be painstaking at times, but keep in mind that this if primarily for the well-being of the child. Philadelphia parents can discuss points prior to mediation to make the process a lot easier.

No matter what method divorcing parents choose to finalize their dissolution, they need to address the concerns of their children. It is often a very emotional process and could be filled with numerous disputes. Those struggling with the process or finding it difficult reaching a child custody agreement should seek advice about their options.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce Confidential: Preparing for Child Custody Mediation," Caroline Choi, May 22, 2014

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