When you think about setting up a child custody schedule, do you imagine that it will turn into a real battle? Do you worry that it will be a conflict that you’re unable to resolve amicably?

Before you get too worried, remember that there are options like mediation to help you work out a custody schedule that benefits everyone involved and can minimize conflict. Mediation is an excellent choice for child custody issues because it is nonadversarial. The goal is to work together with your estranged spouse to solve problems, and the mediator is there to keep the negotiations on task and provide you with the information that you need to make informed decisions. 

Mediators can’t force you to take any specific solution

One thing you may like better about mediation in comparison to court is that the mediator can’t force you or your estranged spouse to agree to any kind of arrangements. You are both in charge of coming up with an arrangement that works. If you can’t, you can still go to court and have a judge decide on a schedule, but the judge’s decision may not end up pleasing anybody. If you want to keep control over the outcome of your custody case, then it’s better to use mediation or other alternative dispute resolution techniques.

Can you engage in mediation separately from your spouse?

Yes, you can. Most people don’t realize that you can engage in mediation separately, but if you and your estranged spouse don’t get along, it’s possible to meet with the mediator at different times. This will keep you both focused on the issues and help you work on an agreement without the risk of conflict.

Mediation can be helpful for people in your situation. Your attorney can help you learn more about it if you’d like to consider mediation in your custody case.