Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.

Consider using mediation to settle child custody issues

These days, many more New Jersey couples are using mediation to resolve their divorce issues. It could also prove helpful in child custody matters in which married or unmarried parents do not want to involve the courts. Sometimes, parents just need assistance in keeping on track and coming to an amicable agreement.

As opposed to the traditional adversarial system, mediation provides an environment that encourages cooperation and reduces conflict. The goal is to resolve the parties' disputes without trying to "outdo" or "punish" the other party. The mediator is there to make sure that the sessions remain productive and go smoothly.

Of course, the process will be more successful if you and the other parent come into it willing to compromise. Neither of you will get 100 percent of what you want. The sooner each of you realizes that, the better the negotiations will go. Another benefit of mediation is that it often is less costly and time-consuming when compared to litigation.

The key is to find a qualified New Jersey mediator who has experience in dealing with family law issues. They are often more emotionally charged than other issues and require a firm but compassionate demeanor. When you come to a mediator to work out your child custody issues, it is often about much more than just who will have the children on what days. It is about not wanting to lose the love of your children and being valued as a parent who can contribute to their happiness and security.

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