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Resolving child custody issues through mediation

Unless you have a compelling reason to use the courts in order to resolve your custody issues, you more than likely want to stay out of a South Carolina courtroom. You probably did some research regarding how a contentious divorce or child custody battle can do more harm to your children than good.

You then began looking for a viable alternative to court but wonder whether anything will work, since you and your future ex-spouse don't seem to fit the picture of friendship the media portrays. Fortunately, you don't have to be best friends in order to reach a mutually satisfactory child custody agreement outside of court.

Mediation may provide you with the help you need

You may just need a little extra help in order to achieve your goals. If you could have someone help keep you on track and help you avoid the negotiations breaking down because you keep arguing, then mediation may be the avenue for you. The process provides numerous benefits of which you and the other parent could take advantage:

  • Mediation isn't about blame. When couples go to court, they tend to focus on who did what in the relationship and attempt to break each other down in order to "win," but mediation doesn't work that way.
  • Instead, mediation provides you with an informal and safe place to work out your issues.
  • The focus is on what type of arrangements would serve the best interests of your children.
  • Mediation helps you focus on the future instead of the past, which may remove some of the tension and stress of the situation.
  • In fact, this process could help reduce the stress your children feel in this situation as well. No matter how much assurance, love and support you provide your children, if you continue to fight as you would during a contentious court battle, it will have an adverse effect on them.
  • The mediator could help you and the other parent learn to deal with your differences and with conflict. These skills could serve you as you move into the future as co-parents.
  • It will probably save you money since mediation is often less expensive and time consuming than going to court.

By removing the adversarial component of the process, everyone could end up winning. The children benefit from the reduction in stress and the benefits of a parenting plan that both parents invest in to make it work. You and your co-parent benefit from learning to work together for the betterment of the whole family.

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