phone469-406-4320

address2329 Coit Road, Suite B, Plano, TX 75075

Texas child custody mediationOnce your Texas divorce is over and you have adjusted to not being married to your former partner, you may still be surprised by how much you remain in contact with him or her if you still share minor children. This may be distressing for some parents and less so for others, but one thing that is for sure is that you are still required to follow the legally-enforceable parenting agreement contained in your divorce decree. 

However, circumstances can change greatly over the years, and you may find that your current custody order is no longer workable for any number of reasons. If you need to modify your custody order, you will need to file a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, or SAPCR. Just like with your divorce, a mediator can help you overcome differences with your child’s other parent so you can create a custody agreement that benefits everyone. Here are three situations in which you may want the help of a mediator during your SAPCR. 

Your Child Has Their Own Preferences

As children get older, they begin to have opinions about where they want to live and why. Once children are 12 years old, they are legally allowed to give their input and have it considered when making custody adjustments. When one parent does not agree with the child’s preferences, a mediator can help both parents discuss the situation with the child and try to find a good balance of everyone’s preferences and concerns. While minor children are still children with limited knowledge and wisdom, many parents find that respecting their wishes when practical and possible makes for a happier, more cooperative kid. 

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Plano child custody mediationAs a parent, breaking up or getting divorced involves much more than financial issues like the division of assets. You must also decide how you and your soon-to-be-ex will handle child custody and parenting responsibilities. Unfortunately, deciding how to divide time with your children can quickly become  a contentious issue. Parents may also disagree on how to raise their children.  Family law mediation can help you and your child’s other parent discuss these issues and work toward a solution. Many parents find that the meditation process saves them time, money, and stress as compared to traditional litigation.

Parental Dating and Romantic Partners

Many divorced parents plan to reenter the dating scene once the divorce is finalized. You and your child’s other parent should discuss how and when a parent may introduce the child to a new romantic partner. You may also want to discuss whether a parent can have a romantic partner spend the night. By addressing these issues early, you may be able to prevent arguments in the future.

Holidays, Vacations, and Special Occasions

Even if you and the other parent can agree on a child custody schedule in a general sense, there will always be special occasions. For example, who will keep the child on their birthday? What about Christmas or New Year’s Day? If there is a school vacation, will the parent who was originally assigned custody keep the child, or will the parents split up the vacation?

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Collin County child custody mediatorsIf you are a parent who has chosen to end your relationship with your partner, you will need to make multiple types of decisions about how the two of you will handle child-related issues going forward. Whether you are going through a divorce or ending a relationship as unmarried partners, you will need to address how you will work together to make decisions about how your children will be raised, the amount of time that children will spend with each parent, and multiple other concerns about how you can provide for your children’s ongoing needs. Child custody mediation can be a great way to reach agreements on these matters while minimizing conflict and ensuring that you will both be on the same page about issues related to your children.

Tips for Success in Child Custody Mediation

During mediation, you will work together with the other parent to make decisions about how you will share custody of your children. A neutral mediator will help you identify the issues that will need to be resolved and provide you with guidance on how you can reach agreements regarding these matters. Ideally, you will be able to create an agreement that will allow you to cooperate with each other to provide for your children’s ongoing needs. You can do so by following these tips:

  • Be prepared - Before beginning mediation, it is a good idea to write down your goals and expectations. This will allow you to compare your position with the other parent’s expectations and identify disagreements that will need to be resolved. You can create a proposed schedule for parenting time and visitation, while also detailing how you expect to address ongoing decisions related to your children. By considering these issues before beginning mediation, you can determine whether you will need to make changes to your expectations or whether compromises will be possible.
  • Avoid personal attacks or disputes - You will want to do your best to put aside conflicts with the other parent about why your relationship is ending or any grievances about how matters have been handled in the past. Mediation is not the time to lay blame for a divorce, rehash old arguments, or complain about relationship issues. Instead, you will want to focus on working together to make decisions about issues related to your children and reach agreements on how you will cooperate as co-parents going forward.
  • Focus on your children’s best interests - When making decisions about child custody, it is important to put your children first rather than focusing on your own needs and desires. Thinking about what is best for your children will allow you to reach agreements that will allow them to be happy and healthy when spending time with both you and the other parent. Ideally, you will want to find ways you will be able to work together to provide for your children’s needs while also encouraging your children to maintain close, loving relationships with both of you.

Contact Our Collin County Child Custody Mediator

Whether you are going through a divorce or need to address child custody issues as an unmarried parent, a skilled mediator can help you resolve your disputes and create agreements that will protect your children’s best interests. Our Plano family law mediator can help you address these issues successfully while minimizing conflict and ensuring that you and the other parent are prepared to provide for your children’s needs. To arrange a free consultation, contact us today by calling 469-406-4320.

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child-custody.jpgYou love your children, and you knew when you filed for divorce that you and your ex would always share a connection because of your kids. You might have heard stories from family members or friends who have gone through lengthy court battles regarding child custody issues. That doesn’t mean that it has to be the same in your case. In fact, you don’t even have enter a Texas court; you can choose to mediate your divorce instead.

There are several helpful tips that you can use during mediation to avoid parental conflict. By keeping your children’s best interests in mind, you and your ex can learn to work as a team to resolve any child custody issue that arises during mediation sessions or after you finalize your divorce.

Controlling your emotions is the key to peaceful child custody discussions

Divorce typically evokes a wide range of emotions in people. You might feel at peace and confident about your future on one day, then feel sad or angry the next. In order to avoid co-parenting conflicts, it’s best to reserve child-related discussions for the days that you feel you have control over your emotions and are able to stay calm.

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Determining how you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse intend to raise your children after your divorce requires careful consideration.

When you organize and write down your thoughts before attending mediation, you stand a better chance of remembering points important to you when parenting plan discussions begin.

Exercising control

You know your children better than anyone and certainly better than a judge. Preparing a parenting plan as part of divorce mediation allows you and the other parent to maintain control over the future of your children. You can be sure that your plan addresses their best interests and helps them adapt to new family relationships in the post-divorce world.

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