Mediation is a powerful tool that too few parents know about or truly understand. Divorcing and unmarried parents alike often head to court to figure our parenting time and responsibility – more commonly known as custody and visitation. If they have been unable to determine a schedule themselves, they think it is time to let a judge decide. But there is a middle ground: mediation. It is a non-adversarial process where parents sit down and discuss how they feel, what they need and what they believe is best for their children. With the help of their attorneys and a neutral trained mediator, this process ideally leads to an agreement on the issues. There are many benefits to mediation including privacy, informality, and less stress on the children.
Acknowledges Feelings, Not Only the Law
One reason many parents like mediation over battling issues out in court is that during a session, they can express their feelings regarding the situation. The courtroom is all about facts and leaves very little room for how someone feels. Mediation allows moms and dads to talk about what they need from each other to create a stable and healthy situation for the children. This can also enable the parents to build a better working relationship moving forward.
Less Formal, Less Intimidating
Many parents have never been to court or dealt with attorneys and judges until now. Heading to court and sitting before a judge can be intimidating. Instead, sitting down with their attorneys and a mediator can be far less scary – particularly since an experienced Alabama family law attorney will thoroughly explain the process before any meeting and prepare you for the worst and best case outcomes.
Divorce and child issues become public record when paperwork is filed in court. Many parents, especially those who are public figures, may want to keep the details of their and their children's lives out of the public eye. Working out terms of parenting time, responsibility, and even support during mediation enables parents to put only minor details in the settlement that will be a public document.
Less Expensive Than Litigation
Many parents fear the cost of hiring attorneys and going to court over parenting time and responsibility, but it is a necessary expense. However, the price does not have to be break the bank. Mediation is often less costly than court.
Provides Children With a Good Example
Family attorneys see consistently see the benefits of mediation for the children involved. Instead of an adverse process than can encourage parents to be hostile and fight for what they each want, mediation encourages communication and compromise. Not only does this put less stress on the children during the process, but it demonstrates to the kids that their parents are willing to sit down and work things out.
A Shelby County Family Law Attorney Can Help
While mediation has many benefits compared to using the courts to resolve child issues, it can still be difficult and intimidating. The experienced mediation attorneys at Eversole Law, LLC understand the challenges parents face when figuring out parenting responsibility, time, and support. We use our knowledge and years of experience to help parents through this rough patch and into a smooth situation for their children.