Effectiveness and role of mediation in child custody disputes

People do not enter marriages with the intent to divorce but most people are all too familiar with the well-known statistic that nearly fifty percent of all marriages will end in divorce. Despite this statistic, not all divorces are acrimonious and many people amicably divorce. Nevertheless, many Florida divorced parents may realize that when children are involved, regardless of whether the divorce was amicable or acrimonious, over the course of the divorced relationship, child custody disputes and issues between parents may arise which can lead to tensions even between the most well-meaning parents.

One case in point is the amicable divorce between White Stripes' lead singer Jack White and his ex-wife. The divorced couple threw a joint party celebrating their divorce. White and his ex-wife seemed to have worked out most of their issues. Nearly two years later, however, White's ex-wife was granted a restraining order and White was limited to contacting her only via email. The restraining order was granted after White apparently sent his ex-wife several threatening emails in order to convince her to move their child into another class in school because he did not want his child associating with the child of another entertainer he felt had stolen his music.

In general, it is in the best interest of the children for parents to resolve issues as amicably and quickly as possible. In cases when the parents simply cannot agree or have had issues from the beginning, the divorced parents may wish to use a neutral third party to help them find middle ground. When children are involved, parents can become emotional and rather than litigating, it may be more helpful to use a mediator.

During the mediation process, parents can mutually agree and decide what events the parents will attend, when to take the children on vacations, when the parents will have parenting time and more. Even though mediation is good option, in certain cases such as cases of domestic abuse when spousal intimidation existed or when an imbalance of power between the parties is evident, mediation may not always be the best option. In either circumstance, it is important for parents to contact an experienced family law attorney.

Source: Huffington Post, "Using Mediation to Keep Your Cool During Divorce and Beyond," Silvana Raso, Aug. 27, 2013

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