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How to Prepare for Child Support and Custody Mediation

Child Support
If you are going through a divorce, you might consider mediation rather than going to court for a divorce trial. Mediation provides many benefits, including a space to make decisions without arguing or facing an executive decision made by a judge.

Mediation preparation requires a few simple steps. If you are considering mediation, pay close attention to these steps. You may need to do a few extra things before you come in for your session.

Understand the Mediator's Role

The mediator plays a specific role dissimilar to that of an attorney or a judge. While the mediator does hear the case, he or she does not issue a ruling. Additionally, the mediator does not represent you personally.

The mediator helps the two parties negotiate with each other so they can arrive at a conclusion for divorce-related issues like child custody and support. Mediators provide a safe place in which the ex-couple can discuss conflict.

For instance, the mediator does not provide legal advice. While some mediators are attorneys, keep in mind that they are not your attorney. You still need to obtain your own legal counsel for advice related to your divorce case.

Select the Right Mediator

The best mediator for your case will be experienced and skilled in divorce cases. He or she has mediated cases like yours before. You may read reviews online or see the mediator's experienced listed on their website.

Mediators should have experience with a wide variety of personalities. They know how to negotiate contentious issues without taking sides. The mediator is impartial but fair thanks to an understanding of family law.

Maintain Necessary Documents

When you come to mediation, you need all documents related to assets and liabilities you shared as a couple. Documentation of income, debt, and property provides support for any statements you make about the financial needs of your children.

Documents you should prepare for mediation include tax returns, income information, financial affidavits, outstanding bills, values of property, and lists of property owned before the marriage.

Be Willing to Compromise

You are not likely to receive everything you ask for, but mediation may provide more power than you would have if your case went to trial. You have more power to make decisions in mediation than when you go to court, but you must still leave some room.

You can help create a compelling compromise by coming to mediation with a written schedule you prefer in addition to a proposal for custody and visitation.

Establish Communication Strategies

Discussion with the mediator should not include argument. Refrain from becoming emotional when you present your case. If the mediator senses that the session is not going to work, the mediator may choose to end it. 

Finally, always have documentation to back up your claims rather than arguments. If your ex-partner is lying about something, do not engage in personal attacks. Instead, focus on providing support for your own claims.

If you do not believe you can have a peaceful mediation session, court may be the better choice for you. 

Hire a Family Law Attorney

Your divorce attorney may attend mediation sessions if both parties agree to it. You should discuss your goals and priorities with your attorney so that he or she knows what to work toward when you come in for a session.

Even if your attorney does not attend mediation, have your legal counsel available. You can come to mediation with prepared statements and proposals, and you have a professional you can discuss your legal questions with.

Call Brimberry Kaplan & Brimberry to learn more about mediation and divorce options. We serve Thomasville, Bainbridge, Dawson, Moultrie, Tifton, and the surrounding areas. Set up a consultation today to discuss your options.

Brimberry, Kaplan & Brimberry P.C.

408 N. Jackson St.
Albany, GA 31701
Phone: 229-436-0537
Toll Free: 877-757-7730

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