Kevin Qualls Family Law
Maintaining Professionalism. Preserving Civility. Finding Answers. Practical Guidance On Important Divorce And Custody Matters

Should I bring my attorney to child custody mediation?

A recent post on this blog discussed how many California courts will encourage, or even require, medication when parents in the Stockton are having a child custody or parenting time dispute. While not appropriate in all cases, mediation is often good in the sense that it encourages parents to come to agreements about their children, which usually benefits the kids long-term.

Some might think that having legal representation during a mediation is not necessary, since the process is, after all, about negotiation. In many cases, mediators may prefer that attorneys not be heavily involved in the process.

However, there are in fact good reasons to have an attorney present at and assisting with a custody and parenting time mediation. For example, an experienced attorney is going to know how the mediation process works and what a person should bring, or not bring, to a mediation. He or she can also help a parent take the appropriate steps to prepare for mediation session, which can still be an intimidating process even if it is not designed to do so.

Finally, during the mediation, an attorney also can invaluable advice and insight as to a parent's legal rights and other options throughout the process. After all, the mediator does not represent either side and has an incentive to get the case settled quickly. Moreover, no matter how smoothly the mediation is going, it is still important for a parent to know what he or she is agreeing to and what other options are out there.

Although an Orange County parent should try to mediate in good faith by trying to come to an agreement with the child's other parent, it is also important to enter any deal with one's eyes wide open. In this respect, an attorney can be very valuable

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Kevin Qualls Family Law
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