Massachusetts couples choose to end their marriages, partnerships, relationships or unions all the time. When children are involved, reaching agreeable child custody terms can be a bit of a challenge. When it is, some people may believe that the only way to resolve custody issues is by going to court. The truth is, that may not be necessary.

Child custody issues can often be settled in mediation. Mediation is where both parties agree to meet in a neutral location with an unbiased third party present to help them hash out an agreement. Going this route can take less time than litigation, and it can cost less as well.

Some people believe that mediation is not an option for them if their relationship with their ex is really bad. Mediation can work in such cases, however. It may require a little more work for the mediator, but it is not an option that should be quickly tossed aside just because both parties cannot stand to be in the same room together.

There are a lot of benefits to choosing mediation over litigation when it comes to resolving child custody issues. At the end of the day, both parents have to decide what it is they want to get out of it. In Massachusetts and elsewhere, if the court does have to intervene in child custody matters, parents may not have much of a say in the final outcome. Mediation keeps the ball in their court and allows them the ability to create custody plans that really fit their family’s needs.

Source: FindLaw, “Child Custody Mediation FAQ“, Accessed on May 30, 2018