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Can I Handle Child Custody Disputes Through Mediation in New Jersey?

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couple sitting on couch in front of mediator

For many, the most stressful part of divorce is determining child custody. Because both parents want to see their children as much as possible, this can often cause significant tension between spouses. As such, they may be unable to agree on a custody schedule. Unfortunately, this can be upsetting for everyone involved, including your children. However, you may wonder whether or not mediation is an effective way to determine your schedule. The following blog explores what you must know about child custody disputes and mediation. You’ll also learn how a Somerset County child custody lawyer can assist you during these challenging times.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a method used when two disputing parties cannot come to an agreement on their own. Generally, this is used in family law cases, though it can be beneficial in a number of other areas, such as disputes between employers and staff or landlords and tenants.

Mediation occurs when both parents meet with a third-party entity, which will serve to facilitate conversation between the parties. This person is not there to offer legal advice or take sides on the matter. Instead, they will simply guide the parents through conversation so they can come to an agreement on their own terms.

What Should I Know About Child Custody Disputes and Mediation?

In many instances, mediation can be an extremely effective tool for parents going through a custody dispute. This is because it allows both parents to express their wishes and feel heard. It is also beneficial as the parents can choose when mediation occurs, as opposed to having to rearrange their schedules to make court-ordered appearances.

Additionally, mediation occurs in a more private setting, allowing both parents to speak freely. As such, the anxiety surrounding appearing in a courtroom can encourage parents to be more open and less aggressive about their issues, as there is no court reporter present to take down everything said.

Generally, the only time mediation is ineffective is when there is a considerable power imbalance between spouses or one spouse has been the victim of domestic violence at the hands of the other. When this occurs, one spouse may not feel as open to speak freely, rendering this ineffective.

When Should I Enlist the Help of an Attorney?

Any time you are going through a custody dispute, it’s imperative to enlist the assistance of an experienced attorney to ensure your rights are protected and the best interest of your child is met. Even if you opt for mediation, ensuring you have an attorney on your side is vital to ensuring the agreement is fair and legally binding.

At the Siragusa Law Firm, we understand how complex it can be to go through a custody battle. As such, our team is committed to helping you and your family achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you through these issues.

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