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Benefits of mediation in your child custody dispute

Resolution to some family law matters might be easier if you can avoid taking an adversarial stance. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't stand up for yourself, or that you shouldn't protect your legal rights and advocate for the best interests of your children.

Instead, it means that if your situation lends itself to being willing to cooperate and perhaps making some concessions (not just sticking to your proverbial "guns") you could reach a more effective, more satisfactory resolution faster than you would otherwise.

In the family law context, this spirit of cooperation is evidenced in the practice of mediation (in custody disputes in Sacramento County and several other areas of California, this is known as "Child Custody Recommending Counseling", and is a component of Family Court Services). Essentially, both parties agree to work together to craft solutions under the guidance of an impartial expert - a mediator - trained to advance the proceedings by facilitating discussion but not actually making a decision on behalf of the parties.

California Family Code Section 3173 allows a family court judge to order the parties to undergo mediation, but it's something that the parties can also seek out for themselves in order to resolve a custody dispute. By agreeing to find a custody solution without the need for protracted litigation or a decision by a judge unfamiliar with the inner workings of their family, parents can create the arrangement that best suits their needs and the best interests of their children.

Mediation in the custody context has many benefits, including:

  • Higher reported satisfaction with the resulting custody and visitation/parenting time schedule
  • A less contentious relationship between co-parents moving forward
  • A schedule that better accounts for the unique needs of their family (for example, one that includes time for extended family members, understands the need for flexibility for changing work schedules, discusses extracurricular activities that are important for the child, etc.)
  • Fewer return visits to court for modifications in the future (since the parties are generally happier with mediated resolutions, there is less future court involvement required)
  • A focus on the children at all times; contrast this to protracted litigation, where the adversarial nature of the proceedings can easily result in the focus shifting away from the children and their best interests to just "winning"

It is advisable in any legal matters involving your family, that, in order to protect your interests and advance the solution that is best for your children, you have qualified counsel at your side. For more information about custody disputes, contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.

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Our office is conveniently located off Highway 50, just three miles from the Sacramento County Family Courthouse and minutes from Downtown Sacramento. For your convenience, we accept all major credit cards.

Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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