Some New Jersey residents may wonder how much of the talk about the benefits of child custody mediation is hype and how often mediation actually works. Others may wonder whether mediation works long-term even if a couple manages to forge together an agreement at the moment.
After all, even if mediation is seen as a good thing to try, it is not worth the money if it is not going to resolve a couple’s issues.
According to one study, mediation does tend to work in the short term most of the time. Of parents who tried mediation in order to resolve their family law issues with each other, slightly over 75 percent reached some sort of agreement in mediation. Among those who did not get an agreement, over 10 percent later got their matter resolved privately, before they wound up in court. On the other hand, among those who did not try mediation, the vast majority wound up in court.
In the long run, parents who mediated their custody and parenting time issues seemed to experience greater involvement among both parents down the road. Specifically, the non-custodial parent who mediated tending to speak to his or her children more often and also did better sharing decision-making and coordinating responsibilities. Parents who took a more adversarial approach, on the other hand, tended to continue to all-or-nothing behavior after litigation, with the non-custodial parent having much less involvement in the children’s lives.
While it is not appropriate for every situation, parents in New Jersey can take reasonable confidence that mediation actually works when it comes to custody disputes. The specifics of mediation should be discussed with their respective attorneys.