As parents, you are the experts on your children's wellbeing. You know what’s best for them - and they need the best of you.
In as little as one 2-2.5 hour session, our parenting mediator works with both of you to identify and resolve all children’s issues, and make sure you come to agreement. Custody and parenting mediation is not a counseling session. It is a negotiation process focused on resolution.
We can help you work out any or all of these issues in mediation:
How much time will we each actually spend with our children? Where will our children live?
Physical custody and overnight time is one of the biggest adjustments parents have to make, especially newer parents with young children.
We facilitate peaceful, productive discussion to work out time-sharing arrangements that are in the best interest of your children:
- Decide whether sole, primary, or joint custody would be best, both in the short and longer term.
- How the kids will get from one place to another, who will pick them up and transport them.
- Whether or how older kids could have input, and how to have the discussion.
How do I reach my children (or how can they reach me) when they are with the other parent?
Knowing exactly how and when you can contact your children outside of visitation can be worrisome, especially in the beginning.
From the start, we create a plan for how you will communicate with your children when they are not in your care:
- Creating a phone schedule to call other parent.
- Giving cell phones to your children and permission to contact you.
- Using email, texting and social media for contact.
- Contact with relatives and significant others, including new relationships.
- Contact information, relocation, and foreign travel.
What will we do about school and education?
Depending on a child’s age, school is at the heart of their daily routine and future. There is so much to consider.
We help you work through all the decisions around your children’s education:
- How custody arrangements could impact what school they attend.
- Whether to take them out of private school until finances stabilize.
- Specific actions both mom and dad will take to keep kids motivated.
- Who attends parent-teacher conferences.
- Religious school education.
- Access to school records.
- Planning for college.
How can I be sure my kids will have decent medical care?
Another concern parents have is how to keep tabs on a child’s health when they are not in their care every day.
We help you divide up responsibilities for medical care and treatment:
- Decide who the kids see for doctors and dentist.
- When a parent should be notified for medical-related emergencies, test results and mental health care.
- Special provisions for children with special physical or mental health needs.
How can we maintain stability in how we raise our children?
It’s difficult to figure out how to discipline your kids during the most unpredictable time of their lives.
We help you set ground-rules for your children that are consistent in both households and also builds on the strength of your individual parenting styles.
- Restrictions on junk food, computer time and media viewing.
- Appropriate punishments and types of rewards.
- Establish bedtimes and curfews.
- Continue or adopt religious rituals.
What about special occasions, breaks, and holiday time?
Family events, celebrations and extended time-off require careful advance planning to minimize confusion and tension.
We plot out the calendar year with you - week by week - so everyone knows his or her obligations far ahead of time:
- Where the kids will spend their birthdays, your birthdays, and holidays, and who is responsible for planning.
- Sharing time over winter or spring break, and how summer vacations will be spent.
- Establishing spending limits on gift giving.
- Considering the impact on kid’s social activities and school functions.
What if we still have problems after the agreement is final?
Children grow and their needs will change. Parents’ lives also change. Therefore, you can’t anticipate every issue in the present moment. That’s why your parenting plan is flexible and easily modifiable.
We are also available to redraft your agreement and adapt to new situations – with no need to go to court:
- Build in terms for how parents will communicate post-divorce.
- Know ahead what issues must be mutually-decided upon.
- Agree to use mediation if you can’t work something out.
Parents who chose mediation to work out custody and parenting decisions don’t have to worry about the court accepting or changing it. Since they worked together, parenting plans and agreements are much less likely to be violated.
Ready to sit down with a parenting mediator to work things out?