Using Mediation to Modify Your Child Custody Order
Child custody arrangements can be a sensitive and emotional topic for parents. The parenting plan (possession order) portion of your court order outlines the schedule for visitation and child support, but sometimes circumstances change, and a modification is needed.
There are several reasons why a parent may want to modify their child custody order. For example, if one parent has moved to a new location, has a new job, or if the children have grown older, a change in the order may be necessary. In some cases, parents may need to modify the order due to a conflict with their current schedule or other personal reasons. Regardless of the reason for the modification, one needs to know that both parents can agree to a different visitation schedule than what is currently written in the court order. However, if both parties cannot come to an agreement, going to court may be the next step.
When going to court, the party affected by the order can file a suit to modify the order. This typically includes the child's parents, and possibly other relatives who have been appointed conservators. A petition to modify can be contested or uncontested. If both parties agree, the judge's approval is needed to finalize the modification. On the other hand, if there is no agreement, the judge will weigh the pros and cons of both sides and make a decision for the parties. Going to court can be an expensive and time-consuming process, which is why mediation can be a helpful tool to resolve child custody disputes.
Mediation is a process where a neutral third party, a mediator, assists the parties in reaching an agreement. A mediator can help parents identify the issues that need to be addressed, facilitate communication, and help both parties find a solution that works for them and their children.
In mediation, both parties are encouraged to work together to develop a new parenting plan that considers the best interests of the children. The goal of mediation is to create an agreement that both parents can live with, and that meets the needs of the children.
If an agreement is reached in mediation, the parties can submit the agreement to the court for approval. If the court approves the agreement, it will become a new court order.
Mediation can be an effective way to modify a child custody order without going to court. It can be less stressful, less time-consuming, and less expensive than going to court. Furthermore, mediation can help parents maintain a positive relationship and reduce conflict, which can benefit the children involved.
If you are considering modifying your child custody order, it is important to consider all your options. Mediation can be an excellent tool to resolve child custody disputes and reach an agreement that works for everyone involved. At Sonja Sims Mediation, we offer confidential, compassionate mediation services to help families resolve child custody disputes and reach agreements that are in the best interest of their children. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you navigate the process of modifying your child custody order in a positive and effective way.