How to Make Mediation Work for your California Child Custody Case

In California, an increasing number of divorcing couples are using mediation to resolve child custody matters. Unlike litigation, mediation gives parents the opportunity to work together and come up with a custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the children. The cooperative attitude that the process requires can carry over into the future, resulting in a lifetime of successful co-parenting.

There is a catch, though. For mediation to be beneficial, you and your spouse have to be prepared to make it work. Here are some tips for getting the most out of child custody mediation in California.

  1. Eliminate the Battlefield

The goal of mediation is not to win a battle; it is to reach an accord that benefits the children. A certain amount of discussion and debate is appropriate and even beneficial in a divorce, while arguing to score points will derail the process. Approach mediation with the intention of making the divorce as stress-free as possible for the kids, not winning arguments.

  1. Avoid the Blame Game

Blaming one another for conditions that led to the divorce turns you and your spouse into adversaries, and mediation is not an adversarial process. The purpose is to get you both on the same page so that you can work together effectively as co-parents. Resist the urge to blame one another for the past and focus on creating a parenting plan that works for everyone.

  1. Treat One Another with Respect

Nothing deters someone faster from a cooperative state of mind than feeling disrespected. If, for example, your spouse feels insulted by things you say or imply, they won’t be inclined to work with you to reach an agreement. The well-being of your children is too important, so no matter how bitter you feel, keep it to yourself and focus on the issues at hand.

  1. Deal with More Difficult Issues Last

On the surface, it seems logical to deal with the biggest challenges first and then carry on to a smooth and successful finish. With mediation, the goal is to cultivate a spirit of cooperation from the beginning. A good way to do this is to first tackle the issues that you both agree on for the most part. With each successive agreement, a cooperative attitude gains momentum and puts you both in a better frame of mind to deal with the more contentious subjects.

The point of mediation is to come up with a custody arrangement that is best for the children. When the process is approached with the right frame of mind, you and your spouse will be able to create a workable co-parenting relationship that enables the kids to thrive.

At Ahluwalia Law P.C., we’re committed to fostering a cooperative approach to California child custody decisions. We use proven problem-solving strategies to help parents reach agreement and cultivate an attitude of cooperation for future modifications. For more information about our California family law mediation services, contact us today.

Written by Ahluwalia Law Professional Corporation

Ahluwalia Law Professional Corporation

Welcome to Ahluwalia Law, P.C., the home of Attorney Madan Ahluwalia. Madan has been practicing law since 1994, and has been managing his own firm serving the San Francisco Bay Area since 1995. He is passionate about building long-lasting relationships with each client, which begins by offering affordable, efficient, and personalized services.