Divorce is tough on every member of the family, and finding solutions that protect your children is a top priority. Rather than engage in lengthy and costly litigation to decide issues surrounding child custody, many parents opt for alternative dispute resolution.
One of the most effective ways to reach satisfactory results for child custody is through child custody mediation. Mediation offers the parties a venue to fully consider all of their concerns, and come up with workable solutions in a shorter time frame and for a fraction of the cost of litigation.
At Saunders Law Group, serving Sebring, FL and Wauchula, FL, we understand the emotional toll divorce takes on the entire family, We want to help you shield your children from any unnecessary legal proceedings. Consider mediation as a means to resolve your child custody issues today, and let us help you through the process.
What Issues Can Be Decided in Child Custody Mediation?
When parents divorce, it is important to come to an agreement regarding the kids as quickly as possible. Minimizing the change in routine for a child can be key to a healthy readjustment after divorce, and will help kids to feel secure in their environment.
The most frequent issues that arise with custody during divorce, or between unmarried parents, include:
- Physical custody: Physical custody is the legal determination as to where the children will actually live. In some cases, the mother has physical custody with visitation being granted to the father. In other cases, the father has physical custody, or physical custody is shared between parents.
- Legal custody: Legal custody is most often associated with which parent has decision-making authority for the kids. Decisions regarding schooling, religion, and medical care are common components of legal custody orders.
- Visitation: Visitation is usually granted to the parent who does not have physical custody. Visitation is set by a schedule that works for the family, and must be strictly followed. Any deviation from the visitation schedule should be approved by the court, or by agreement of the parties on an as needed basis. For example, if there is a family emergency that prevents visitation from taking place as scheduled, it is acceptable to contact the other parent to arrange alternate visitation days and times.
Mediation is designed to tackle these issues, as well as any other issues that are unique to your particular situation. The goal is to come up with solutions that work for both parents, while still providing the best possible care and upbringing to the children.
What Happens if Mediation Orders Are Disregarded?
When a court enters an order, noncompliance is punishable by contempt. With mediation, the final decisions made are not legally binding, leaving an aggrieved party with no option other than a trip to the courthouse to get relief.
If you have entered into a mediation agreement with an ex-spouse regarding your kids and that agreement has not been honored, it is time to take the matter to the judge. You will need the assistance of a qualified family law attorney to take the appropriate steps to protect your children.
Where to Go for Assistance with Child Custody Mediation
Child custody matters are emotionally charged, but do not have to take a huge toll on your well being. With the help of the right attorney you can obtain quick and satisfactory results. The Saunders Law Group considers the needs of you and your children and aggressively pursues remedies that meet your needs. Contact us online or call our office at (863) 533-6200.