Child custody mediation in Houston Texas is a wonderful tool that has been used by thousands of parents to resolve even the most emotional, contested child custody disputes. Child custody mediation in Houston Texas gives the parties the power to decide how their custody and visitation schedules will be created, and how they will co-parent their children. However, what is child custody mediation, really? What can you expect during this process?
First, you should understand that there is no pressure to accept a settlement agreement if you are strongly opposed to it. The mediator will not make any decisions for you, as opposed to a family court judge. Although it is very important to be open and flexible during mediation so that a settlement may be reached, you do not have to agree to settlement terms that you are uncomfortable with.
Next, know that mediation is a very laid back process. There are no judges, no court reporters, and no spectators—the only individuals present will be you, your spouse (or ex-spouse), and the mediator. In many cases, the mediator keeps the parties in separate rooms and discusses the issues with them individually, so you may not even have to see the opposing party at all. This fact alone helps many parties relax and focus on settling the case.
Though strict evidentiary rules apply in court proceedings, no such rules apply during mediation. Therefore, if you have documents or other items to support your claims or defenses in the case, bring those along. If you have a calendar of every time your spouse failed to show up for visitation, example, you may bring it along to show the mediator.
Essentially, prepare for mediation by reviewing the facts of your case, understanding what you want, and remaining calm, open, and flexible.