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Mediation: A valuable tool in parenting time disputes

Depending on your relationship with your child’s other parent, you may be facing a contentious parenting time matter. Parenting time conflict can impact nearly every aspect of your life, from your work schedule, living arrangements and relationship with your kid. However, the proceedings will likely also have a substantial effect on your child. To minimize these effects, many Colorado judges require parents to mediate parenting time agreements before a neutral third party.

Here are two ways mediation can protect your kid when it comes to parenting agreements.

Mediation requires a more child-centered focus

Every family is unique. You and the other parent know your child and your family the best. You are able to focus your energy on what will be the best resolution for your child and your family from a practical perspective and also an emotional one. You and your co-parent may have heated discussions that you do not want your child to be exposed to. Mediation removes your child from confrontation and allows for creative resolution.

Parenting issues can be discussed in greater detail

If you proceed to court, you will not have the ability to address minor, yet important details regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities. Some of the issues that can be addressed in mediation, but are rarely resolved before a judicial officer include:

  • Disciplinary methods
  • Communication expectations
  • Extracurricular expenses, such as sports fees
  • Educational expenses, including college savings, school supplies and field trips
  • Accommodations surrounding work schedules, particularly occupations that require nontraditional work shifts and frequent travel

Outside of parenting time, there are a variety of other advantages that mediation provides. Alternative dispute resolution proceedings can save time and are often less expensive than litigation. It is a good idea to be represented by an attorney during mediation to ensure that the agreement is fair, enforceable and in your child’s best interests. Knowing what to expect and your rights ahead of time can prepare you before you go into negotiations so that the outcome fits your family.

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