Child Custody Mediation
Child custody mediation is a legal process that enables separating couples to negotiate childcare arrangements, keeping these matters out of court.
Any agreement that is reached following child custody mediation often has a far greater chance of long-term success because both parties have the opportunity to discuss and agree upon a particular arrangement.
The family mediation process provides everyone with the opportunity to suggest their own solutions and negotiate a mutually acceptable outcome. Mediation services allow the parents to make decisions about their children, as opposed to leaving these decisions up to the courts. When disputes arise, mediation services can prove a useful and affordable way to find a resolution.
Once the separating couple has made an agreement about childcare arrangements, our family law solicitors can draft a consent order to create a legally binding agreement.
At Wells Burcombe we provide child custody mediation support in various forms, including:
- Child custody legal advice
- Preparing for a child custody mediation
- Advice on child inclusive mediation
- Support with childhood custody arrangements
Our expertise with Child Custody Mediation
Child custody legal advice
When you’re going through a separation, child custody can be a difficult area to navigate. Both parents have to consider matters from the child’s perspective, as well as reflecting on their own needs. Many parents may be unaware of their legal obligations and rights, and unsure about how to achieve a favourable outcome from the mediation process.
Our expert team of child custody mediation solicitors can support parents every step of the way, negotiating reasonable child care arrangements, to reflect the long-term needs of the family.
Preparing for a Child Custody Mediation
Once you’ve made the decision to go through a family mediation process, you’ll need to make some preparations. Our family law solicitors can guide you through the various preparations that you’ll need to make, ensuring that you understand the mediation services to follow.
We’ll help you to determine your desired outcome from the child custody mediation process. Our expert lawyers will discuss any concerns you have about family mediation and support you to gather any evidence you might need, to strengthen your standpoint and work towards a successful outcome.
Child Inclusive Mediation
A standard child custody mediation procedure occurs in the presence of the divorcing parents and a third-party mediator. Typically, a solicitor does not accompany either party to the mediation session yet can provide legal support both before and after.
Some couples opt for a child-inclusive mediation process. Child inclusive mediation is where a family mediator arranges to meet with the child, after obtaining the consent of the parents.
The child is given a chance to express their views in confidence to the mediator. The idea is that the child’s views are taken into consideration, however, this does not mean that they are responsible for the final child custody decision.
Child inclusive mediation can be a difficult experience. Depending on your circumstances it may or may not be suitable for your family. To learn more about child-inclusive mediation contact our child custody lawyers.
Childhood Custody Arrangements
Family mediation helps families to make childhood custody arrangements, including
where the child will live, and how often they will spend time with each parent. If parents are able to agree on the child’s living arrangements, they may also use family mediation to decide:
- How to approach issues relating to the child’s healthcare and education.
- How both parties might introduce new partners to the child.
- How both parents plan to share and communicate information about the child.
Our family lawyers have a wealth of experience in supporting clients to consider childhood custody arrangements, and legally protect their interests along the way.
Our Child Custody Solicitor fees
Our child custody solicitors can provide specialist legal advice, helping you to prepare, and achieve the best outcome from your child custody mediation. We may be able to offer a fixed free rate for legal advice, depending on your circumstances. If you case is more complex, we can offer a reasonable hourly rate, according to your needs.
To provide an accurate indication of our fees, we will first need to assess the complexities of your case. For more information about our fees, contact our child custody lawyers.
Child Custody Mediation FAQs
What is a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM)?
Before a child custody mediation can take place, both parties must attend a mediation information assessment. During the meeting, the family mediator will decide whether your situation is suitable for mediation.
Not all cases are suitable for child custody mediation, there may be underlying circumstances which rule out this option, for example, conflict or concerns of domestic abuse. If the case is not suitable for mediation, the family mediator will direct both parties to take the case to court.
What to expect in child custody mediation?
At child custody mediation, both parents will have the opportunity to communicate what they feel are the best living arrangements for the child. The family mediator supports both individuals to communicate their wishes, taking a neutral standpoint. During a mediation service, both parties are encouraged to put the child first and consider their best interests.
Our family law solicitors can assist clients with mediation for child custody. We can help you to consider the issues you’d like to address in your family mediation session and assist you with the next steps once you’ve come to an agreement.
How to prepare for child custody mediation?
To prepare for a child custody mediation, you should spend some time thinking about what you’re looking to achieve from the session. Before you attend a mediation service, it’s advisable to work with a child custody solicitor. A solicitor can support you to consider the type of child custody arrangement you’re looking for. Issues that you might like to raise as part of a child custody mediation include:
- Will your child have one main place of residence or split their time equally between both parents?
- If your child is splitting their time between both parents, how will these arrangements work?
- Where will your child spend time in the school holidays, at Christmas, or on their birthday?
- How much contact will your child have contact with grandparents and when will this contact take place?
If you need family mediation and are looking for legal support, get in touch with our family law solicitors today.
How long does a child custody mediation process take?
The initial mediation information and assessment meeting takes around 45 minutes. Family mediation sessions last for approximately 1-2 hours and some families may be able to negotiate their child custody arrangements in just one session. If a case is more complex, the family may need more than one session to agree on child custody arrangements.
Is the mediation process legally binding?
The child custody mediation agreement is not legally binding, however, if both parties can agree on the child custody arrangements, the agreement can then be made into a legally binding order.
Once you’ve reached an agreement using a mediation process, our child custody solicitors can guide you through the necessary steps to create a legally binding agreement. If you cannot solve matters using the mediation process, we can support you to apply to the court, to obtain a child arrangement order.