Why Should We Take Child Custody Issues to a Mediator?

Dealing with divorce can be stressful, painful and emotional for all those involved. It can be especially traumatic for children. When divorce is imminent, it is a good idea to take child custody issues to a mediator. He or she will do their best to provide a win-win situation for both parents and especially, the children.

Less Traumatic on the Children

One of the best reasons why you should visit child custody and support mediator in New City NY is that it will be less traumatic on your children compared to going to court. A courtroom can be a scary place for children, especially if they do not understand why their parents are getting a divorce.

Less Expensive

Taking your child custody issues to a mediator will also cost you less money than going to court to fight the battle. Even though the mediator cannot make any decisions on your case, or issue binding decisions, he or she will make sure the two parties discuss the matter openly and in a positive way.

Helps Create Working Relationship

When you take a child custody issue to mediation, it helps to create a working relationship between yourself and your former spouse. No one says you have to like your former spouse after divorce, but getting along for the children is very important. Mediation is non-adversarial, which means that both parties involved are trying to figure out what is best for the children, not one-up each other like they do during a divorce.

The bottom line here is that all child custody issues should be taken to a mediator in order to avoid stress and keep the children from being traumatized.

Most Common Dilemmas in Child Custody Mediation

Child custody issues are frequently some of the most contentious and complex involved in any divorce.  In order to succeed in mediation, you must be willing to listen to the other side and be open-minded.  Depending on the dynamics of your relationship, several common dilemmas can really throw a wrench into negotiations.  Be aware of issues and ensure that you choose with comfortable in helping you work through complex challenges.

One of the biggest challenges that can erupt during child custody mediation has to do with one or both parties pursuing a new relationship area whether it’s moving to continue a new relationship or getting married again, this can often inflame old emotions very quickly.  This is especially true when the other parent is concerned about his or her ability to maintain a relationship with any children.

Another common issue has to do with having one home base for the child and one or more parents being concerned about establishing stability and uniformity in each house.  While a troubled marriage certainly isn’t the most positive atmosphere for parenting children, it can be just as difficult to adjust to maintaining two separate households with different rules.  To the extent that you are able, compromise with the other spouse about what rules you would like to be consistent across both households.  Some of this involves a learning curve, but an experienced Suffern child custody mediator may be able to help you work through these complex issues.

Knowing ahead of time what can make conversation more difficult is helpful, but only when you have a talented mediator to help you address the concerns outright.

What Special Considerations Should Be Evaluated in Child Custody Mediation For Younger Children?

It can be a very emotional process to engage in New Rochelle mediation for child custody issues, but knowing what the unique needs of your children are can greatly increase the chances that your final agreement will be specifically aligned with your family’s situation.

For younger children, like those between birth and toddler ages, there are special considerations worth thinking about before you enter mediation.  Consistent schedules, for example, may benefit children in these age categories.  Bearing in mind that the guiding factor should be doing what’s best for your children, younger kids tend to adapt better when schedules are kept relatively consistent.

Imagine how much a change like a divorce is going to influence younger children.  Even if you have careful and highly-evaluated plans for what life will look like for younger children, there’s no doubt you’ll encounter some unexpected changes along the way.  This is most likely to happen when you put a parenting plan in place while the children are younger, expecting that it will continue to work throughout their childhood.  In mediation, talk about what the plan will be for addressing changes in living situations or the needs of the children.

Finally, it may be a good idea to include plans for handling emergency situations in your final agreement from mediation.  More often than not, each parent wants to be included in the notification process when a child is involved in an emergency.  Your agreement should include who will be called in these situations and when, and contact information should be shared regarding backup emergency contacts.

As with any child custody mediation, considering the best interests of the children and being open to communication are a key recipe for success in the future.

How Can Child Custody and Support Mediation Benefit the Kids?

There are numerous benefits to opting for divorce mediation for couples, but choosing to go this route can also be advantageous for children.  Working with a neutral New City child custody and support mediator can set the tone for the future of your relationship while minimizing the impact for children.

The first reason that child custody and support mediation is beneficial is because the process is non-adversarial.  Even the most emotionally controlled individuals can find it challenging to keep the emotional trauma of litigation and coming home.  Children are very sensitive to the moods and emotions of their parents, so any opportunity you can take to minimize disagreements and fighting with your former spouse is good.

Conflict is extremely common in a contested divorce, even when you have the best of intentions of keeping it positive or shielding children from disagreements.  Inevitably, children may find themselves caught in the middle when you choose litigation as opposed to working with a New City child custody and support mediator.

The mediation process does not focus on blame, although the adversarial nature of litigation can pit one parent against another.  A trained mediator helps to remove blame from the topics of conversation and instead focus on collaborating to generate a parenting plan that is focused on the needs of the children.  As a parent, you are likely to experience less stress going through mediation, allowing you to focus on doing your job as a parent and helping your child adjust to the many changes that are happening in their lives.

Choosing to work through divorce issues in mediation is extremely beneficial for your own purposes, but it can also allow children to sort through emotional divorce-related issues on their own without added pressure.

How Does a Judge Determine Custody?

Even if you have already retained a family lawyer in Westchester County to help handle your child custody case, you should be aware of the process by which judges make custody determinations.  The outcome of your child custody case can have major ramifications on the time you spend with your children as well as your life after divorce, so you should consult directly with an experienced attorney about the possible scenarios that could work for you.

In New York, judges determine both residential and legal custody issuesResidential custody refers to the actual location where the child lives, while legal custody specifies which parent or parents are able to make important decisions regarding the children.  One parent may be awarded primary residential and legal custody, but it’s also possible that a judge will determine joint legal custody is the best solution for your family.  This refers to situations when both parents have some form of legal custody over the child.

Judges make decisions about child custody in Westchester County New York by using the best interests of the child standard.  They may take into account the child’s preference, any histories of child abuse or neglect, the age of the parents, the financial situation of the parents, drug and alcohol usage by the parents, and any physical or mental health issues that could impact a parent’s ability to care for a child or children.

Custody battles can escalate quickly, which is why you need to be prepared with any documentation addressing the above issues for yourself or the other parent.  You may even need to have character witnesses speak on your behalf to testify about your parenting abilities and skills.  Your family law attorney will be able to provide you with more insight about what’s needed in your case.

Do Grandparents Have Custody Rights in New York?

In the state of New York, grandparents may have limited rights to visit their grandchildren.  This is because the law states that parents have the fundamental and primary right to raise their children how they see fit.  As a result, grandparents will only be granted specific visitation rights if the New York courts believe that doing so is in the best interests of the child.

There are many factors that could be evaluated by a New York court when it comes to determining grandparent visitation rights, but there is a two part test employed to decide whether this is the most appropriate solution.  First, the court has to feel that visitation rights for the grandparents is in the best interests of the child.  Second, it has to be clear that there is already a functioning and established relationship between the child and the grandparents.

When it comes to determining the best interests of the child in a New York grandparent visitation case, the court might evaluate the wishes of the child, the morality of the parents, the past behavior of one or both parents, education opportunities, how the home environment influences the child or children, and the physical or emotional needs of the child.

Visitation rights cases for New York grandparents can be difficult because compared to other states, New York is relatively restrictive.  This doesn’t mean that you don’t have a possible case, however.  If you believe that you should fight for visitation rights of your grandchildren, you need to consult with an experienced New York family law attorney to learn more about how to initiate this kind of case.  Since the law is complex, it’s essential to hire a talented attorney as soon as possible for your case.