One of the options available to parents in Arizona who are figuring out child custody and visitation matters is mediation. Mediation can be ordered by the judge presiding over your case, or it can be something that both you and the other party choose.
How does mediation work?
When mediation is used to solve issues related to child custody, a professional mediator works with both parties toward an agreement to resolve the issues they are having. The mediator is a neutral party who listens to both sides and guides them toward a compromise that they can agree on. Each party can also have their family law attorney be a part of the process, prepare them for the mediation session and speak to them about their options.
Mediation sessions can last two to three hours. In the first session, the mediator usually introduces themselves and explains the role they play in the process. They then provide time for each party to explain their side of the issue. After this, negotiations begin. Once a compromise on the issues is reached, the parties draft a document that is then presented to the court to become the legally binding agreement.
Benefits of mediation
Mediation has many benefits for the parties involved. These include:
• A possibly less contentious process
• A potentially less costly process
• More motivation for the parents to work together amicably to solve issues
Your commitment to success
For mediation to work, you must be willing to give it a try. When mediation is ordered by the judge, you must participate in at least one session or risk being held in contempt of court. However, if the other parent is the one who is asking for mediation, you have the choice of declining. If you feel that you and the other parent can work together to reach an agreement, mediation might be a good choice.