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Are you thinking of MEDIATION to
settle a parenting dispute?
are stressed as they seek to maintain
meaningful relationships with their children in the face of separation or
fear of losing time with oneís children and the concern for developing
the best plan of care causes some parents to actually dispute the matter
in a way that contributes to the distress of children.
the conflict between parents escalates and they cannot determine a
parenting plan on their own, many turn to the Courts for a judge to
determine the outcome. In such instances both parents are fully at the
control of the courts and are bound by the judgeís decision.
is as an alternative to court.
in court the parents are bound by the decision of the judge, in mediation
the role of the mediator is to help parents communicate and determine
their own solution to the parenting of the children Ė a mutual
mediator is a specially trained professional usually with expertise in
child development, family dynamics and in helping people communicate. Some
mediators will share their opinions and offer suggestions in the interest
of the children while others may concentrate mainly on helping the parents
determine if a mediator is right for you, ask these questions.
are your credentials?
you share your opinions and provide input?
you familiar with issues related to child development, step or blended
families, violence, abuse, etc?
is the fee and how many hours will it take?
the mediation remain confidential or can information from mediation be
used in court?
is the process of mediation and how do you expect me to prepare?
you provide a report?
you registered within your profession?
there ever been any complaints, charges or convictions against you?
reasonable mediator should be able to answer these questions directly and
appreciate being asked.
is a good and reasonable approach to developing and settling parenting
plans, but there are instances where mediation is often not recommended.
Generally mediation is not recommended where a parent is known to be
violent or abusive or if a parent is acting in a coercive manner. If parents want to enter mediation where there is a
known history of violence or abuse by either parent to each other or any
of the children, they are advised to be certain that the mediator is
aware, agrees to continue and has specialized knowledge or training on
Canít sort out a plan for the children and you donít want to go to court? Consider mediation.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.
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