custody mediation hints

Discussions from before 2005.

custody mediation hints

Unread postby Dave » Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:03 pm

Going in for custody mediation - any helpful hints to keep it fair and get as much time with my boy as possible?

Re: custody mediation hints

Unread postby Keith » Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:08 pm

you want to show the mediator that you are calm,cool, and collective. Don't fight over stupid stuff. Remember that you are paying the mediator, and your attorney. You should suggest she keep more stuff put you want more time with your son.

Re: custody mediation hints

Unread postby ben » Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:10 pm

Every custody mediation is different. The most important thing to know is that you MUST BE PREPARED!!

Go to the SPARC website ( and download some of their articles regarding mediation and how to prepare.

As a general rule, mediation is about determining what each parent wants and how well they cooperate.

You must have a plan and strategy to get what you want out of mediation. If you go in unprepared, you will be pissed, frustrated and ultimately at a horrible disadvantage.

Get prepared. Your child(ren) need you.

Re: custody mediation hints

Unread postby nuke » Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:12 pm

Ask for the moon and hope for something fair.

In all seriousness, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Come up with what you want, things you will ask for but are willing to give up (bargaining chips), things you don't want to give up but will if you get something REALLY important, etc. Success will depend on how far apart you are from one another in what you want and how reasonable you both can be.

Re: custody mediation hints

Unread postby No·MAD » Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:26 pm

Well, I created a strategy unlike any I've seen thus far. If you could give some detail on your case then I might share this. It worked for me and it would hold up to the most skeptic of the critics, however it is not something that is politically correct and as such I don't just give or suggest this to anyone without a good reason.

Please post links to anything you've discussed here previously to clarify.
Or, if you would rather, send me an email.

Re: custody mediation hints

Unread postby Dave » Fri Jan 07, 2005 5:25 pm

I sent you an email - respond when you get the chance thanks

Re: custody mediation hints

Unread postby Fed Up » Fri Jan 07, 2005 5:29 pm

Nomad, get a life. You won nada. Your silly schemes are idiotic.

On the other hand, I have custody of my two daughters. There really is no secret to mediation or GALs or trials beyond being the fit and decent parent your child deserves. Be up front, candid, and truthful. Have your child's best interest at heart. Forget trying to ace the other parent or to pull some clever scheme over on the evaluator. Just be an honest, good man looking out for the best interests of your child in all instances, which means you must not be vindictive about the other parent, you must not try to pull a fast and way too clever trick over on all involved, or to think you can outsmart the mediator. You have to be a good parent to win in custody issues and that means that you have to be a straight up, good guy who has moved beyond all the game playing and scheming and is focused on the well being of the child.
Fed Up

Re: custody mediation hints

Unread postby Jason Rolfeman » Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:53 pm

Let me add this.

1)Check out your mediator. Call the office of mediation and ask how long this person has been the mediator. Ask your attorney what he/she knows about this person. Are they a social worker, ex-judge, attorney, or just somebody who did the state minimum for accreditation.

2)Make sure you prioritize what you want in mediation with an A/B analysis.
For example. You want AS much time as possible with your boys. That means you more than likely will not get more that 50/50 split. So this is where your start.

Plan your conversation around your basic statement that you feel important that you and your ex spend an equal amount of time where possible.

Offer solutions to the obvious blocks your ex will offer. (ie, offer to take your boys to dental/doctor and sports activities.

Bring a calendar with proposed < parenting time > schedules that would work for you and your ex. Be prepared to offer SEVERAL options to show the mediator your willingness to find a solution.

REMEMBER that mediation is non-binding. IF you feel that your ex will not give you a 50/50 and that is what you want to fight for, do not feel that you have to settle for less. Just let the mediator know that this is what you want and are willing to find a way to make it work, IN the best interest of the children to maintain a meaningful relationship with both parents!

Do not feel that if you can not mediate an agreement that you have failed. Make sure you offer every plausible solution to your ex to make 50/50 work. The report from th mediator will state that mediation did not resolve the issues of XXXX and YYYY and ZZZ, and recommends that the court hear the issues and make a decision.

You may then be ordered to arbitration. Just make sure that you are ABLE to have 50/50 < parenting time > with your children. The worst you will get is state minimum visitiation - but at leat you will be able to show your children in the future that wanted to be more involved.
Jason Rolfeman

Re: custody mediation hints

Unread postby David GS » Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:03 pm

Now THAT is helpful advice and a real addition to the content of this site! Thanks!

I would also add that it really *is* important that the mediator see you as cooperative and reasonable and flexible etc. A recalcitrant, uncooperative and infelxible attitude will hurt you for sure, and if you can be the flexible and cooperative nad reasonable one, then your ex will look the opposite, which can only help you.
David GS

Re: custody mediation hints

Unread postby Jason Rolfeman » Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:15 pm


Find out if you are in the same room with the mediator or not, some do phone calls. If so, ask to meet with the mediator. Make sure you are well dressed an have your important issues you want resolved with YOUR solutions in type-written format. Have 3 copies, one for each in the mediation. Leave room for notes.

If you feel like the mediation will not work, make sure at the close you reiterate your willingness to find a solution that will be 'shared' and in the best interest of the children. State that you are sorry that you could not find a way to find a solution in mediation, BUT that you would entertain any further solutions to the offered (if any) solutions from you ex.

Be POLITE on all accounts. That does not mean you have to agree. It only means to make sure that the mediator understands that you are there for 50/50 and nothing else, but will listen to all other suggestions to discuss with your attorney.

Always, remain calm... think for 3-5 seconds before responding. Make a list of 'hot points' that the ex will try to use against you.. (ie you travel alot, you never go to games with them, won't take them to church, etc.) Do not place the blame on her for anything. Always respond that THESE issues are why you are both in mediation and you are willing to take a list from her of her concerns and try to address them. (Don't fire back, unless there are concerns with her ability... but this is better left for AFTER you have 50/50. If she can not handle her 50% it will be evident after the divorce and leaves you with more options down the road for full custody.)
Jason Rolfeman


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