When parents divorce in Michigan, they may disagree on certain child custody issues. Mediation may be their best option for settling those matters.
Understanding child custody mediation
If you and your former spouse have disputes on child custody or any aspects of it, mediation could help. Like divorce mediation, it allows you to meet with a neutral third-party mediator to discuss any issues of concern so that you can reach an agreement.
Mediation lets you work things out together and gives you better control. Unlike going to court, you and your former spouse come to a conclusion that works for both of you. It’s also better for your children and spares them the typical unpleasantness that comes with a court proceeding.
How to be successful at mediation
Being fully prepared for a child custody mediation session can increase your chances of success. It’s important to remain level-headed about the situation and remember that you and your former spouse won’t always agree. Be thoughtful and be sure to use the right language. For example, you should refrain from saying, “my children” and remember that both of you are their parents.
Avoid bringing up any marital issues that have nothing to do with your kids. Remember, you’re there to deal with custody issues. Also, while it might be difficult, you should keep your emotions in check. If you do get overly emotional, ask for a short break.
You might need separate or virtual mediation sessions to come to a custody agreement if your divorce was particularly contentious. If there’s a lot of hostility, consider this but know that you have other options.
Depending on the circumstances, mediation could be right for you. However, if any type of abuse occurred in your marriage, court might be the better option.