Child custody and parenting time disputes are the worst. The notion of your ex denying you time with your child can be dirty and underhanded, but it does not help the situation to retaliate against them. It also doesn’t help to give up and simply fade away out of the child’s life.
For those who want court intervention, the costs of litigation may be a significant barrier. After filing fees, there may be costs for discovery, a custody evaluation and even preparing for a trial. Only a small number of people can afford to pay for this process.
Despite these issues, there is a way for parents who are having parenting time and custody issues to find a solution. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where parties meet with a neutral third party who works to find a solution that both parties can live with.
Mediation commonly costs less than traditional litigation, as there are no filing fees or discovery that must be conducted. No motions or briefs are written, and there is no trial that your lawyer must spend hundreds of hours (and thus costing you tens of thousands of dollars) to prepare for.
Moreover, the adversarial feelings that may be fostered through litigation are often put aside in mediation. The neutrals that assist parties are trained in dealing with parties who fight, as well as those who are intractable.
Further, information and statements made in mediation are commonly confidential, so the session is not a fact-finding venture where the other party will dig up incriminating evidence to be used in court.
If you have more questions about mediation, an experienced family law attorney can help.
The preceding is not legal advice.