California law requires divorcing parents to engage in mediation to settle child custody matters before they can file a petition with the court. If parents can’t agree on child custody arrangements, a California court decides. Instead of leaving decisions about your children’s future in the hands of a judge, mediation gives you more control over your children’s futures.
Establish a schedule that works for you
The California child visitation guidelines provide a standard outline for custody and visitation terms. The guidelines offer a helpful framework, but rarely fit the individual circumstances of both parents. You may travel regularly for your job, for example, or you may work at night and on weekends. In these cases, a typical child custody arrangement might not work for you. During mediation, you can agree on visitation that accommodates your particular schedules and lifestyles.
Consider special circumstances
Every family is unique with different circumstances to consider during separation. The possibilities are endless. Your child may have special needs that one parent is more equipped to handle. Your children may have a close bond with their grandparents who can provide childcare assistance while both parents are at work. Your child may not adapt well to change and so keeping her in her current school or home may be a priority. How you plan for these issues could affect visitation arrangements.
Differences in religion and culture may also come into play while creating a visitation schedule. For example, your children may spend every Christmas and Easter with their Christian parent and spend every Hanukkah and Passover with their Jewish parent. Each parent could celebrate important holidays as a family, which might be more appropriate than the traditional arrangement of alternating holidays.
Sow the seeds of parental cooperation
For parents, divorce is not goodbye. You will deal with each other regularly to transfer your children between homes, to attend school functions and sporting events, and to make important decisions to advance your child’s well-being. Forming a cordial relationship is not only best for your children, but can also reduce stress and anxiety in your own life.
Mediation is designed around the concept of compromise. Parents generally agree on many issues and make concessions that create a more equitable custody arrangement. During the process, you and the other parent learn to cooperate with one another, a skill that will prove essential to navigating your parental duties post-divorce.
Learn why mediation can help parents establish successful child custody terms during and after divorce in California
You want what is best for your children. Mediation can help you reach the best child custody terms possible during divorce. Contact Fresno and San Diego child custody lawyer and trained mediator Rebecca Medina to learn more.