Custody battles can be extremely expensive and toxic. Mediation can explore many options surrounding custody to avoid long and adversarial court battles. Custody varies from state to state, yet for most states the main focus of custody surrounds the legal right of decision-making.
In most states, custody revolves around decision-making between parents around three major areas: Education, Elective Medical Procedures, and Religious Training. The State of Washington often desires one parent selected for the designation of custody, yet allows for joint decision-making around the major life areas similar to those mentioned above.
Most couples who select mediation as a divorce process usually choose joint custody. The mediation process is not adversarial, allowing parents to retain or even improve their relationship. Many parents meet annually to discuss the needs of their children, plan a budget, schedule the calendar, and discuss important developmental areas. This helps parents to focus on the children and work together on their behalf.
And sometimes joint custody is not a good choice. For a variety of reasons, one parent may be selected with full custody. He or she is responsible for informing the other parent of all decisions. Many people confuse custody with visitation. Custody does not deal with the amount of time a child spends with a parent while a Parenting Plan is written for parental visitation. For more information about visitation, see Parenting Plans.
Genesis Mediation offers a FREE 15 Minute Phone Consultation. We are here to help you and get your questions about custody answered. Please call (503) 352-9447. Custody is also a topic discussed at our Divorce Options Workshops.