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Using divorce mediation to create parenting plans

April 13, 2017

Divorce is hardly ever easy for Connecticut couples, especially when children are involved. Having to shuttle the kids back and forth between two residences is not the ideal situation for anyone, but many parents do it and make it work. In many cases, courts ask the parents to try divorce mediation first in order to establish a parenting plan that puts the child’s best interests first. There may be some ways to make mediation work well for those involved.

It helps if Connecticut couples are prepared, which is why there are a few things parents can do before meeting with a mediator. Some may want to meet with a counselor beforehand to get a feel for how they should present themselves in a mediation. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with emotion when meeting with an ex-spouse over custody issues, so it helps to learn how to stay cool, calm and collected. If this isn’t an option, the former spouses may want to meet together and see if there are any issues they can agree upon before mediation. This will make the process less stressful.

Both parents should come into a mediation meeting knowing exactly what they want and what issues they are most concerned about. It’s unlikely that both parents will get what they want in terms of child custody, but putting everything out there in the open is a good starting point and it allows the parents to negotiate from there. Some courts allow parents to bring documentation to the meeting, while others don’t, so understand the rules ahead of time.

Mediation can be stressful, but it is often a much easier alternative than having to battle out a dispute in court. When parents battle it out in court, they lose control of the resolution process because the judge is the one who ends up making the final decisions and both parties may be unhappy with the final decision.

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