Settling child custody matters out of court is the better option. If your spouse is willing to undergo divorce mediation here in Long Island, then you’d better start preparing well for the initial meeting. Ample preparation amps up your chances of getting custody rights for the children,
This is something that you are most concerned about since you’ve decided to file for a divorce.
Preparing a custody proposal
Before you walk into custody rights and responsibilities meeting, spend enough time with an attorney. In your initial meeting with a legal adviser, write down the details of your custody proposal. This is an important step since the details of the proposal can be influenced by laws that govern the state.
Before the meeting, collate all relevant documents pertaining to the children. These documents are medical records, school records, among others.
Custody and visitation details
It is a given that the flow of your daily life will change when you and your spouse go your separate ways. If you want to apply for full custody, ensure that documents supporting your capacity to do so are available for the initial meeting.
If you are not applying as the custodial parent, start thinking about your own schedule and see how visitations fit in your new routine.
How to approach mediation discussions
Aside from preparing for the details of custodial matters, you have to prepare yourself as well. Your attitude would be an important confounding factor and could determine the success or failure of your claim. The first thing you have to remember is that you must show a willingness to work with your spouse.
No matter what differences you may still have, consider the welfare of the children first. You could lose your chance to still be a part of the lives of your children if your attitude is not positive and helpful.
The in-home custody evaluation
Being open to an in-home custody evaluation could be in your favor, especially if you have no reason to fear your parental capabilities could be questioned. You are a loving and responsible parent. You are a competent individual, and your children would be better off growing up with your guidance.
You can use the results to your advantage. If your spouse presented an argument against you, the positive results of an in-home evaluation would support your case.
Meeting with a mediator
It helps to learn family law basics so that you are not at a loss when the mediator brings up important policies and issues. Another way to prepare for a meeting with the mediator is to ensure relevant supporting documents are ready.
Aside from concerns about child custody, make a list of contested issues. A clear and concise list would help facilitate conflict resolution. You may also write down your take on the matter – what possible solutions are you seeing. From your perspective, what should the agreement contain?
Mediation does not take as long as a legal proceeding. If you want to facilitate the process, draft a version of the agreement as you see fit. Prepare all the relevant documents that will facilitate settlement of child custody and other pertinent issues.
Most importantly, present yourself as a mature, responsible and focused parent whose primary concern is the welfare of your children.