A California judge will use the best interest of the child standard when issuing a child custody order. However, you don’t necessarily need to go to court to come to terms on a custody agreement. If you feel comfortable talking with your partner, mediation might be the best path toward allocating parenting time.
Potential benefits of mediation
Mediation may be best for you, your former partner and your child for a couple of reasons. First, it is a collaborative process, which means that you and your former partner both get a chance to talk about what each party needs from the process. In some cases, the ability to express yourself freely can help you negotiate a quality deal and move on from any lingering feelings you had about your former spouse. It also helps your child because there is no need for your son or daughter to be a part of the proceedings.
When mediation works best
Mediation works best when you feel comfortable being in the same room with your child’s other parent. It also only works if you feel as if you can negotiate a child custody deal without fear of retaliation after you leave a mediator’s office. Even if you do feel comfortable being around your child’s other parent, mediation may not work if you simply struggle to communicate with that person for any reason.
Showing a willingness to work with your child’s other parent may convince a judge that any deal that is negotiated in mediation should be allowed to stand. If necessary, an existing agreement can be modified if circumstances change significantly.