If you and your spouse have children and are seeking to divorce, you may be worried about the future of your children. These are valid and important concerns to have while navigating this significant transition.
These concerns can be addressed by formulating a parenting plan, a legal agreement that is submitted to court, outlining custody and parenting time. A well-designed parenting plan that is tailored to the best interests of your children will chart the clearest path forward for their bright futures. The clearer the plan, the more time and energy you will have to focus on providing stability and support to your children.
Child custody is defined as the “rights and responsibilities of the parents for taking care of the children.” Legal custody refers to the rights and responsibilities to make decisions about the children’s healthcare, education, and other important matters of their welfare. Physical custody refers to where the children primarily reside.
The court will intervene with an order if parents cannot reach an agreement on child custody arrangements. If you and your spouse prefer to agree on child custody privately, mediation may be the best route, as it can often be more efficient than litigation.
The goal of mediation is to protect your parental rights and children’s welfare, resolving issues as peacefully as possible by encouraging open communication, collaboration, and a child-centric approach. Mediation can form child custody solutions whether you are married, unmarried, divorced, or in a domestic partnership.
Child-Centric Family Mediation
McNamee Mediations facilitates neutral and open discussion between parents about their concerns, with an approach that prioritizes your children’s well-being. Mediation is a safe and confidential space—not a confrontational, adversarial court battle which can unintentionally cause distress for children.
McNamee Mediations specializes in crafting detailed co-parenting plans that clearly define responsibilities, schedules, and guidelines for each parent. We encourage both parties to extend compassion to one another in regards individual scheduling needs and constraints, and to come to flexible agreements. Customized parenting plans are created based on issues including, but not limited to: child custody (legal, physical), visitation rights (holiday schedules, sliding scale visitation schedules, vacation schedules), child support (health insurance, uncovered health care costs, schooling, extra curricular activities, child care, tax deductions), spousal support (permanent), and spousal health insurance. Health insurance is discussed regardless of the duration of the marriage)
Child custody isn’t the only issue that can be resolved in family or divorce mediation. Click here to learn about issues and conflicts that can be resolved in mediation.
Divorcing As Co-Parents
Mediation usually involves substantially fewer legal fees and court costs, affording parents as well as children the opportunity to experience less financial stress than in litigation. Alleviating this strain allows more financial and emotional resources to be allocated towards the well-being of the children, making it easier for co-parents to learn and adapt to a new chapter of life.
Nothing is more important than your relationship with your child. We understand that divorce may be more challenging for those who share children than for those who do not have children. The good news is that with compromise and cooperation, it is possible to ensure continuity in your children’s lives.
We offer on-going, post-settlement support and resources, including co-parenting reading recommendations, workshops, and continued mediation sessions if needed. We also offer recommendations from our network of trusted family/individual/co-parenting therapists, child psychologists, and mental health professionals for families that may require additional support.
If you have any questions about our mediation services, give McNamee Mediations a call today to explore your child custody solutions.
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