For Colorado parents who are preparing to divorce, one of the most important aspects of that process involves working out a child custody arrangement that meets the needs of all involved. Kids need to spend a significant amount of time with each parent, and virtually all Colorado parents understand that. However, when it comes to actually working out a parenting plan, the issue becomes far more complex. Mediation is a great resource for many parents who are facing this scenario, and offers far more flexibility than a traditionally litigated divorce.
Think about it from the perspective of the court. Family courts can see hundreds of cases each month. The only way to process those cases is to have a fairly standardized approach. In terms of child custody, this means that the courts will most often take a cookie cutter approach to dividing parenting time. The outcome can be a custody schedule that doesn't work for either parent or the children at the center of the issue.
In contrast, divorce mediation begins with both parents sitting down to work out a custody schedule that meets the needs of everyone involved. Child custody is not a one-size-fits-all matter. Each parent's work schedule, each child's school schedule, summer vacation plans, visits to extended family members and holiday plans must all be taken into consideration. Further, that is before you factor in things like summer camp, after-school tutoring and travel for team sport participation.
Mediation allows Colorado parents to create a child custody arrangement that is as flexible as needed to accommodate the family's unique scheduling needs. The plan can be as simple or as complex as the situation calls for, but the final result will be an agreement that both parents played an active role in creating. A court-ordered custody plan, on the other hand, will often follow very predictable lines and is very likely to provide a poor fit for everyone involved.
Source: nj.com, "Divorce mediation: A useful alternative to traditional litigation", Sept. 16, 2015