Custody cases are often adversarial, requiring the court to step in to help resolve the dispute. For a parent, the custody of their child is of utmost importance. This engenders in many a fight to the end mentality that results in length custody proceedings that cost both parents in time, money, and peace of mind. Thus, it is important for parents to understand all their options when facing custody conflict.
You have very few options if you and the other parent disagree on custody. The bottom line is if you cannot reach an agreement with the other parent, someone else (i.e. a judge) will need to decide for you. Every custody case is unique and involves a different set of facts and circumstances. So, what can you do if you do not agree on some or all of the issues involved in your custody case, but you don’t want to leave the matter to the court to decide for fear of an unfavorable judgment? Mediation is one option that helps some parents reach a voluntary agreement on custody matters.
Mediation is a process wherein both parents work with a neutral third party (the mediator) to negotiate an agreement on custody on their own. Once that agreement is in writing and signed by both parents, they can submit it to the court for approval. If the court approves it at the hearing, it will become enforceable. This lets the parents stay in control of the custody matter, increasing the chance that both parents will be satisfied with the outcome. Accordingly, the court will frequently refer parents to the Custody and Parenting Time Mediation Program before trying the case in court. Mediation, if successful, can save all parties valuable resources. But it takes work. You must work with the other parent, and you may need to compromise on certain issues for the benefit of your child. Not all cases are appropriate for mediation. Cases involving domestic violence, child abuse or neglect, or where one parent poses a threat to the other may not be successful in mediation.
Mediation isn’t for everyone. If you cannot agree on custody or parenting time with your child’s parent, speak with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney. An attorney can help you understand your options and help you identify how you can obtain a custody order that will protect your child’s best interests.
Do you have questions about child custody? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can help you through your case step by step and will defend your rights. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.