Five Primary Benefits of Child Custody Mediation
By their very nature, divorce cases are among the most complicated and emotional legal proceedings in the New Jersey court system. The complexity and acrimony that can be associated with the dissolution of a marriage dissolution oftentimes are magnified significantly if child custody is an issue. In this day and age, child custody mediation is more widely used in New Jersey family law proceedings.
Primary Benefits of Child Custody Mediation
Individuals are realizing that child custody mediation can prove helpful in resolving disputes that exist during divorce or afterwards. Child custody mediation offers many significant benefits, such as it:
- Lowers the costs of a divorce or post-divorce matter
- Speeds up the resolution of a divorce case
- Reduces the level of rancor in divorce proceedings
- Protects the health of all parties
- Safeguards a child’s best interests
Overview of Child Custody Mediation
Before diving into the specific primary benefits of child custody mediation, it is helpful to have a clearer understanding of what is meant by this type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process. Child custody mediation is designed to provide divorcing parents with the ability to negotiate a meaningful agreement between themselves concerning the overall parenting plan for their child or children.
A professional mediator oversees and provides guidance during the child custody mediation process. A mediator, oftentimes, is an attorney with a background in family law.
A mediator does not make decisions for a divorcing couple regarding child custody and parenting time issues. Rather, a mediator creates a structure through which parents are able to engage in open, calm and reasonable communication with one another. The ultimate objective is that the negotiating parents are able to reach an agreement regarding custodial issues during the process of child custody mediation.
Lower Costs of a Divorce or Post-Divorce Matter
A very practical and important benefit can be derived through child custody mediation. Oftentimes, one of the results of child custody mediation is a decrease in the amount of money expended on attorney fees. Time and again in New Jersey divorce cases, parties spend an inordinate amount of money on attorney fees in a pitched battle to resolve issues associated with child custody.
Speed Up Resolution of a Divorce Case
Even before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, court dockets across New Jersey were packed. Since the pandemic and all that has come along with it, overflowing court schedules is, even more, the norm. Another key benefit of child custody mediation is that using this type of alternative dispute resolution results in a speedier resolution of a divorce case.
Reduce the Level of Rancor in Divorce Proceedings
As mentioned previously, not only can divorce cases be legally complicated, but they can also be highly acrimonious as well. Legal complexity and high emotions tend to be the order of the day when child custody is at issue in a divorce case. Child custody mediation has a proven track record of lowering emotions and reducing the level of rancor in marriage dissolution cases.
Protect the Health of All Parties
A focus on the health and well-being of litigants certainly rose to the forefront during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Concerns over keeping people healthy in crowded public settings remain a prime concern. Mediation can effectively be undertaken in a virtual environment with the mediator and individual parties being physically at their own locations during the process.
Safeguard the Best Interests of a Child
Finally, the other benefits associated with custody mediation come together in a manner that allows for the focus to remain on the best interests of a child or children. New Jersey law mandates that all child custody decisions must be in the best interests of a child whether made by negotiation between the parents or order of the court. By toning down emotions and through the guidance of a trained mediator, straying from what is in the best interests of a child is less likely to become an issue.
Child custody mediation is a voluntary process by its very nature and design. With that said, a growing number of judges presiding in divorce cases and similar types of proceedings are increasingly more apt to encourage litigants to attempt resolving custody issues via mediation. A New Jersey family law attorney is in the best position to provide you with more detailed information about child custody mediation.
If you are facing the prospect of a divorce or child custody dispute, the New Jersey family law attorney team at Morgenstern & Rochester is available to discuss your case. You can contact our Cherry Hill office at (856)-489-6200.