Some of the most heated arguments between a husband and a wife at the time of divorce usually pertain to child custody. This holds true for a large number of separating couples in Macomb County, Michigan, as well as the rest of the country. Sadly, a child custody dispute between parents often leaves an indelible detrimental mark on the emotional well-being of a child.
In order to address this issue, some Michigan judges might recommend that parents attend child custody mediation sessions with a court-appointed counselor before the final hearing in front of a judge. It is crucial for a parent seeking child custody to take this mediation seriously because the courts may place a lot of importance on the mediator's recommendations while announcing the final judgment regarding a parenting plan. This will, of course, depend on how the mediation is set up and what ground rules will apply.
Considering the importance of child custody mediation, it is imperative for a Macomb County parent to be thoroughly prepared before sitting at the table. The need to be clear about one's wishes and concerns is extremely important. A parent may also choose to consult with a professional advisor or lawyer who can help him or her prepare for the discussion.
In some cases, it may also be beneficial for a parent to talk to his or her former spouse or partner before mediation. A discussion before the court-ordered mediation can help resolve a number of issues that can hamper one's decision-making capabilities while in the middle of a child custody mediation. As a result, the mediation process can become more efficient and fruitful.
A parent should also remember that it is not mandatory to agree on child custody and visitation rights at the mediation table, especially if he or she is not comfortable with the outcome. It is also possible for a parent to ask for more time to think about the custody plan instead of making a hurried decision. After all, the best interests of the child need to be served in a parenting plan and a hurried decision may not fulfill those requirements.
Source: Huffington Post, "Divorce Confidential: Preparing for Child Custody Mediation," Caroline Choi, aceessed Feb. 17, 2015.