Learn How to Prepare for Custody Mediation in California
Posted on: January 22, 2019
Are you headed for custody mediation? This can be a much more positive experience than taking your case before a judge but it can also be nerve wracking. At Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP we work tirelessly to ensure that our clients get the fairest possible results. In some cases, that comes from mediation. Continue reading to find out more about what mediation is and to get answers to your questions about how to prepare for mediation. Then contact us at 909-482-1422 for a consultation.
Preparing for Mediation When You Know the Co-Parent Will Be Unreasonable
In a perfect world, you and your child’s other parent could sit down and come up with reasonable solutions to any custody issues. Unfortunately, that is not the reality for many people. If you believe that your co-parent is unlikely to be reasonable, then you must first make sure you have a qualified attorney on your side.
Second, make sure that you do not agree to anything just because you feel pressured. You are not under any obligation to come up with a custody agreement everyone can agree on. If an agreement is offered and you do not think that it is in the best interest of your child then do not agree to it. Do not allow yourself to be pressured.
You Must Be Reasonable Yourself
The key is to focus on your child and not the other party across the table from you. You should engage in good faith negotiations. The goal is to find a compromise. Be willing to give up a few things if it means getting an agreement that mostly works for you. Unless you trust 100% that a judge would give you the exact custody agreement you want, it is better to find an agreement that works in mediation than to take your chances that a judge could give your co-parent full custody.
Remain Open Minded
It is essential to walk into mediation with a clear list of what you must have and what you will not compromise on. You may also have a list of things you are willing to give to your co-parent in order to get the compromise done. However, make sure that you are still remaining somewhat open minded.
This does not mean that you have to give up something you are not flexible on. It does mean that your co-parent and / or their attorney may have come up with a creative solution that does not instantly resonate with you. Sit back, don’t say anything, and give yourself a minute to really think it through. It is fine to decide that it will not work for you but it is wise to seriously consider it first.
Bring Relevant Documents
The specific documents to bring will vary based on your specific situation. For example, you may bring medical records that show you are the parent that takes your child to the doctor. You may bring school records showing you live in the district your child attends. Your attorney can help you better understand and prepare the right documents for your unique situation.