This blog has discussed in previous posts how New Jersey parents should consider mediating like child custody and support instead of just taking the matter before a judge. It is true that when parents get along, at least with respect to the raising of their children, the children do better as a result. Keeping an open mind about mediation is therefore a good thing to do.
However, this does not mean divorce mediation or mediation over child custody in other contexts is the right option for everyone in every circumstance. The decision to mediate or not to mediate is an individual’s decision to make and, generally, only after talking to and getting advice from their family law attorney.
One good example of when a person might think twice about mediating child custody or parenting time case is when there are allegations of domestic violence or child abuse connected with the underlying divorce. Mediation in these sorts of situations, while theoretically possible, can easily become a vehicle for an abuser to continue his pattern of abuse and manipulation. Oftentimes, it’s better just to resolve these sorts of cases by going to court.
Of course, mediation also implies that both parties have to be somewhat willing to compromise and give up something that they really want for the sake of coming to an agreement. If two parents have a relationship that is so contentious it is obvious that they will never agree to anything, then mediation could well prove to be a waste of time and resources.
While the attorneys in our office see a great deal of value in mediation, even in emotional and difficult cases like child custody disputes, we also recognize that mediating is an important decision that our clients need to make with our advice and help.