The most important part of having a positive child custody outcome is being successful mediation. Often parties make the mistake thinking that the judge will have a greater role than the mediator in their custody case. Most counties in California will have recommending mediators. What this means is that the mediator makes a recommendation for the judge after meeting both parents. It is very unlikely that the judge will make any significant changes to that recommendation.
Therefore, it is of the most importance to prepare for mediation. Below are important tips to be successful in before the mediator.
1. Focus on the positive attributes you will bring to the child’s life instead of the negative of the other parent.
2. Keep in mind that the mediator will read bodily language and will pick up on verbal cues. Therefore, it is important to express your self clearly and not use words such as “my child” and “I want.” Instead use language such as “our child”, and talk about what is the best interest of the child instead of your needs.
3. Bring a calendar with you and outline your custody proposal. Being prepared is key.
4. Do not focus on percentages in timeshare, instead on what would be the best for the child involved.
5. Keep child support out of the conversation. Money should not be discussed before the mediator.
The best tip in being successful in mediation is to obtain an experienced attorney who cares about your child’s best interest. Call our office today with your child custody and support questions.
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