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5 important points for discussion in child custody mediation

Leaving a spouse isn't an easy transition to make. When you have children, those children are impacted by the transition just as much, if not more, than the adults.

One way that you can try to make things a bit easier for the children is to try to get child custody matters settled quickly so that you can work on having a stable home. Child custody mediation is one option that might help you to get this done since it typically takes less time than waiting to battle things out in court.

#1: Include direction for school holidays

School age children need supervision. If you are going to have to provide childcare during school holidays, such as summer vacation and winter break, you need to be able to plan for this. Having the child custody agreement clearly state who will have the children when enables you to plan ahead so you aren't scrambling to find a last-minute babysitter.

#2: Plan for the special events

As your child goes through childhood, there will be some very special events that you will likely want to attend. Your ex will probably want to attend those same events. Of course, your child will be thrilled that both parents are there. Take the time to set up a code of conduct of sorts for these events. Spell out what behavior will be acceptable. Define what won't be tolerated. Make sure that these points apply to family members, too, so your child's day isn't ruined.

#3: Decide how communication will be handled

You and your ex need to determine how you are going to communicate. You might opt to use an app so that all communication is recorded. Alternately, old fashioned phone calls or even electronic communication like texts, emails and social media messages might work. Just don't plan on relaying messages through your children.

#4: Determine who will make decisions for the child

The decisions for your child are important. You must plan now who is going to make which decisions. Cover the important bases, including health care, schooling and faith. Other areas that you feel you need to cover are equally important. Include all of this in the child custody agreement.

#5: Make a plan for future conflicts

You and your ex aren't likely going to agree on everything all of the time. Decide now how you will handle conflicts going forward. This gives you a chance to outline the plan now while both parties are calm and able to think clearly.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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