What is Mediation?

Mediation is a divorce process wherein a court-appointed and neutral mediator is assigned to the spouses so they can properly make compromises on the legal aspects of the divorce, such as the amount of alimony and child support and division of assets and liabilities.

The website of the Raleigh divorce attorneys at Marshall & Taylor, P.C. mentions that attorneys don’t necessarily help in negotiating the terms of mediated divorces, but they can still be necessary so the spouses know the extent of their rights and legal options. In other words, you should still consider getting a family lawyer even though there is already a mediator for your divorce.

Advantages of Mediation

Many couples see mediated divorce as their legal process of choice, because it is not as formal as other divorce proceedings, such as contested and uncontested divorce. Choosing mediation over other legal options have several advantages, such as the following.

It is less argumentative

Other divorce processes, especially contested divorce, can be very argumentative, because the spouses cannot agree on the legal terms and nobody seems to want to compromise and get the shorter end of the stick. Mediated divorce, in nature, is not adversarial and rely on mature communication to come up with a fair compromise.

It is less prone to bias

A divorce process like an uncontested divorce can be the easy choice, because of how fast it can be due to the lack of arguments. But this may also mean that a spouse has given in to the biases of the other spouse just to get the divorce over with. This is simply not the case for mediated divorce, because the presence of a mediator can prevent biases.

It puts your children away from the divorce process

Divorce is a complicated legal process, as it may involve aspects such as child custody and support. This may mean that your children will be actively involved in the divorce process, in the form of interviews and presence in courts. This can have a negative effect on children, especially if they are still in their developmental years.

Since a mediated divorce is less formal and everything can be talked out casually, it will help avoid stress and prevent children from getting too involved in the legal process.

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How Criminal Charges Can Affect Child Custody Arrangements

Divorcing couples have to make plenty of difficult decisions. Among these decisions revolve around child custody. For parents who can’t come to an amicable agreement, the court can mediate and decide on an arrangement that will suit the best interest of the child or children involved. Such a decision will entail a variety of different factors and considerations to take into account.

In recent years, U.S. family courts have been keen on ensuring that children maintain the stability they have been used to and are able to spend time with both parents as much as possible. If the circumstances allow it, most judges award divorcing couples joint custody to keep the child’s relationship with both parents as close to what he or she have been used to. However, this decision will drastically change if one of the parents involved is deemed unfit.

The court has the legal power to restrict custody and visitation rights of a parent who is found to be unfit and incapable to properly care for their child. A parent will be considered so after an investigation that brings to light some factors that could be considered dangerous or risky to the child’s wellbeing. Someone with a history of domestic abuse, substance abuse, and other criminal offenses will be barred by the court from exercising their rights as a parent.

According to the website of the BB Law Group PLLC, a parent is usually declared unfit based on the following scenarios:

  • If a child or the other parent has been subjected to abuse, whether physical or emotional
  • If the parent in question is dependent on narcotic substances
  • If a parent’s new partner endangers the child’s well being

A parent with criminal charges can also face severe consequences when it comes to child custody or visitation rights. As pointed out by the website of the Flaherty Defense Firm, even minor criminal charges can have the potential to affect a person’s life. For example, a parent dealing with a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession could risk their ability to retain their rights as a parent after the divorce.

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