If you have reached a tentative custody agreement with your ex-spouse but summer visitation, other school holidays or some custody arrangement remain a point of contention, your child custody lawyer may be able to help finalize a plan, which will work for everyone, without having to undergo a long drawn out legal process. There are several options for alternative visitation and other arrangements that may work effectively for your family, but in order to determine these options it is vital for both parties to discuss these arrangements in a civil mater without the fear of that discussion being used against them in court. This process is known as mediation.
Depending on the severity of the dispute, you and your ex-spouse or ex-partner may be able to use mediation to resolve the lingering visitation issues. Through mediation, both parties will present their sides to an impartial professional mediator who will then offer a decision. If both parties agree to terms, then that agreement becomes legally binding through the filing of legal documents. If not, then the case can continue through to the family court, uninterrupted.
Allowing Children to Testify
Understandably, many parents worry about subjecting their children to a stressful court proceeding. Children may feel extreme pressure to please one parent over the other or may feel torn between two people they love. Children usually testify through a Social Study and sometimes the court will order them to be heard by the court. Mediation offers a less formal setting. While all parties will be sworn in, they will not face the grueling examination of a traditional courtroom environment. It is a more intimate environment which allows the mediator to talk directly with your children and help both parents get to the root of the concerns.
One of the major benefits of mediation is that the hearing is completely confidential. In the event that an agreement is not reached during the process, the information provided cannot be used in a formal courtroom hearing. From a legal standpoint, it is law though the mediation never happened.
For many families, mediation provides a more cost effective option to resolve lingering custody disputes. But both parties have to agree to benefit from mediation or it wont work. While your custody lawyer must be present for the proceeding, you will not incur ongoing court costs normally associated with a courtroom hearing if an agreement is reached.
The firm, Goldstein & Scopellite, PC, with its experienced child custody and family law attorneys, has an excellent track-record. The firm, located in Dallas, Texas, was established in 2002; and now only takes selected clients. Contact the firm at 214-351-9100 for more information.