Child custody can be handled by engaging in unofficial consultation with the parents or other parties representing the parents, attorneys and through out-of-court alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures. The aim is usually to make a voluntary settlement possible or to make the standard court setting easier. However, the final ruling is given by the court judge. Most custody issues are handled before the issues are taken to a family court judge. A number of these resolutions are done through informal negotiations or through the use of ADR processes like mediation and two-way family law.
Below are discussions on a few processes involved in resolving custody issues together:
Alternatives to settlement through informal negotiations
If the parents or third parties representing parents in a custody dispute are prepared to work together unofficially to handle all issues in connection to child custody and visitation, they can discuss an agreement with or without the help of attorneys. In a number of cases, parents who are having custody dispute may choose their case to be negotiated by an attorney. Alternatively, they may negotiate themselves, and discuss with their attorneys before they finalize any agreement.
The resolution conciliation process may differ in a number of instances, but the end result of successful resolution discussion about a child custody case is a written agreement. This agreement may be known as a “settlement agreement” in a number of states, whereas in other states, the document may be referred to as a “custody agreement” or “parenting agreement.”
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and child custody
Another option that parents and other parties involved in a child’s custody issues have is to come to consensus is the alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This includes procedures like arbitration and collaborative law. ADR may successfully help in the resolution of child custody issues. The success will depend on the following:
- The extent of the dispute the parents have on issues like custody and visitation.
- How willing the parents are on working together to take care of those issues.
Various options for settlement
ADR procedures are usually friendlier and more informal than the conventional court setting. They may make early settlement possible. With mediation and collaborative family law, parents or third parties that are disputing the custody of a child together with their attorneys can play a special role in trying to resolve the issue. They can come up with major decisions that are connected to custody and visitation, rather than wait for a judge or jury to decide on those issues.
Arbitration is a more structured ADR option that are used infrequently in family law cases in which an unbiased third-party decides on the case after listening to the evidences and arguments presented by the two parties. The arbitrator’s decision in a custody case is not essentially final, and the parties may still be able to decide on the major issues eventually before a court.
In some states, parents seeking for divorce should try to resolve their issues through mediation. It is, therefore, essential to understand what is involved in the two options. Get information about out-of-court alternatives for handling a child custody matter with these resources:
Finding a solution to child’s custody issues can be nerve wrecking. It is especially very difficult if the parties involved have more difficult parental separation. You can always try to use informal means to save some time and money. Your family law attorney would be able to help you resolve the issue amicably and obtain a fair hearing for you.