Is mediation required for child custody and visitation cases?

Griffin Law, PLLC
Jun 07, 2023


Divorce and other cases could require couples to undergo various procedures depending on the circumstances. It is true more so when tackling custody and visitation concerns. However, going to court for these affairs could be time-consuming and costly. Fortunately, couples could avoid it by entering custody mediation for these matters.

Mediation allows parents to discuss custody and visitation problems in a controlled environment. A mediator would be present during the sessions to help guide the conversation and document decisions made by the involved parties.

Some cases have serious disputes that are too severe for mediation sessions. However, the court typically requires all custody cases to enter mediation to avoid the stress and expenses of immediately going to court.

If the parties refuse to participate in a custody mediation session, they must request a judge to waive it by filing a motion and order to waive custody mediation. Then, the judge would review the case and approve it if appropriate.

Only valid reasons could waive custody mediation, including proximity problems, the potential involvement of violence or abuse, psychological impairments, or both parties’ agreement to undergo private mediation.

The advantages of custody mediation

Custody mediation is generally required because it could benefit the involved parties and their children. Aside from being less expensive than going to court, mediation sessions tend to have a less formal venue, which helps tone down the anxiety during discussions.

Additionally, parents have more control over the decisions. Both parties could set up arrangements based on their knowledge of their child’s wishes, needs and personality. Also, custody mediation could allow them to consider factors usually excluded in court. This process could be ideal for addressing specific custody and visitation issues. Still, some situations have unique implications requiring the formalities of the court.

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