Kevin Qualls Family Law
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What are the goals of a child custody mediation?

As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, one option for resolving a child custody dispute is for the parents to go to mediation. Basically, a mediator will work with each parent and others in order to help the parents come to some resolution with respect to their custody and parenting time disputes.

In some California courts, the mediator, who may be known by a slightly different title, is also allowed to make a recommendation about custody and parenting time when mediation fails. Especially if an Orange County resident is being ordered to mediate, it is important for that person to remember what the goals of a custody or parenting time mediation are, as it is otherwise easy to get lost in the legal and emotional details surrounding mediation.

First and foremost, the goal of a mediation is that the parents come to an agreement that will serve their child's best interests. The logic behind mediation is that two parents agreeing on what is best for their child, with or without the help of a mediator, is likely to lead to a solution that is also best for the family.

A secondary goal of a mediation is to make sure that each parent gets the time he or she desires with the child. The advantage to mediation in this respect is that, once a case gets before a judge to make a decision, the end result tends to be all or nothing, meaning that one person gets the time he or she wants, while the other parent feels deprived. Mediation can serve to prevent this phenomenon.

Finally, mediation can also help parents forge a better relationship going forward, as agreeing or at least trying to agree tends to help both parents get over past wounds and move toward a place where they can work together.

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