Frequently-Asked Questions About Child Custody Mediation

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce mediators; California divorce mediatorsMediation of child custody cases involves the presence of a mediator or an expert to resolve the disagreements between the parents on a parenting plan for their children. The parenting plan can then become the custody order. Whether you are based in Orange County, CA or somewhere else in the U.S., here are some frequently asked questions answered about child custody mediation.

  1. How long does mediation take?

Mediation is generally completed in a week or two. It is a lot faster than a court trial which usually takes several months or even years.

  1. How many sessions does it generally take?

It generally takes three sessions of two hours each. In some cases, it may take less than that or maybe more.

  1. Is it a costly process?

Child custody mediation is a lot less expensive than going to the court. Rather than each parent hiring an attorney, the parents can hire one attorney or mediator together.

  1. What if the mediator takes sides?

The mediator is a professional. As such he or she would act as a neutral party and will never pick sides. Instead, the aim would be to help you reach a mutual agreement keeping in mind the best interests of your child or children.

  1. What if I do not get along with my ex?

The mediators are trained professionals so they know how to deal with couples who do not get along. The mediator will work with the two of you separately and will keep on going back and forth until and unless an agreement is reached on.

  1. Are the mediator’s decisions legally binding?

The mediator is never going to decide for you. You will be helped to reach an agreement. So the mediator’s suggestions are not legally binding at all.

  1. What if we do not reach mediation?

Almost all instances of mediation end in complete or partial agreement. If an agreement is not reached, the matter would then need to be settled in court. The decision taken in a courtroom would then be legally binding on all parties.

  1. What after the mediation?

After an agreement is reached on, a document called ‘stipulation’ or a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ is prepared that outline the terms of the agreement. It then needs to be approved by a judge.

Mediation is a very cooperative process. It is ideal for couples with children.

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