What Should I Know About Child Custody Mediation in New Jersey?

couple sitting on couch across from another person

When you and your spouse decide a divorce is in your best interest, it can be hard on everyone involved, but especially your children. As such, doing everything possible to help ease this transition for your little ones is essential. One thing you can do to help your children is shield them from a bitter and drawn-out court battle. If you are going through a divorce and have children, you’ll want to keep reading to learn how child custody mediation can benefit your family. Additionally, you’ll discover how New Jersey child custody attorneys can help you and your family reach the best possible outcome.

What Is Child Custody Mediation?

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. This process involves meeting with a neutral third party entity, the mediator, who will facilitate conversation between you and the other party. The mediator is not there to offer legal advice or take sides. Instead, it is their job to ensure both parties can feel heard while offering compromises. This is most commonly associated with divorcing spouses but can be used to solve other forms of disputes.

In many instances, mediation is ideal as it allows both couples to explore their side of the dispute calmly while retaining greater control over the outcome instead of letting a judge determine how the child will spend their time. Additionally, mediation sessions are confidential, meaning nothing you say is on public record. The only thing that will be available from the meetings is your agreement document.

If a couple cannot mediate their child custody issues, the case will be sent to court, where a judge will determine the outcome of their custody arrangement.

It is important to note, however, that mediation is not recommended for victims of domestic abuse or violence. This is because there is an inherent power imbalance that makes it difficult for victims to feel comfortable voicing what they want.

If We Choose Mediation, Do I Still Need a Lawyer?

If you and your spouse decide mediation is the best route to determine a child custody arrangement, you may think it’s not necessary to hire an attorney. However, this is far from the truth. As this legal battle revolves around your children, having an attorney to ensure everything is by the book and legally binding is critical.

Additionally, you should have an attorney review your custody agreement before signing it. Though you may trust that everything in the document is accurate and reflects the discussion, ensuring the terms are what you agreed on can provide additional peace of mind.

At Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn, our dedicated legal team understands how complex these matters can be. When something as important as child custody is at stake, our team will work tirelessly to ensure your family is protected. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you during these challenging times.