Custody battles should be avoided at all costs. It should be the last resort after all efforts to settle and mediate have been exhausted. You should try to work out custody through medication with an attorney mediator, judge mediator, child psychologist, or co-parenting counselor. Of course, it takes two parents to settle and one to litigate. Despite your best efforts, you may have to go to a judge for a decision.
Custody litigation is when you go to a court to resolve custody disputes. There are different types of custody litigation. Custody litigation can result in a temporary or final order. (Note: a custody order cannot ever be final in the strictest sense. Custody is always modifiable if there is a material change in circumstance and it is the child's best interest to modify custody).
Even when it's the right decision under the circumstances for a Virginia couple to go their own way, divorce can be tough on everyone, and this is especially true when children are involved. As with all issues before the family court, if the couple can agree to a child custody arrangement on their own, the court will, in most instances, allow it to stand and certify it as a final order. However, there may be valid reasons why one parent wants to restrict or deny custody to the other parent. If so, specific forms of proof will be required in an effort to persuade the judge to grant the proposed custody arrangement.
When Virginia parents get divorced, they may not always consider the impact that it can have on their children. However, parents who work together to raise their children may have a greater chance of seeing them grow up into adults who are emotionally and socially intelligent. To successfully do so, it is important for the adults to put aside their animus towards each other and focus on the needs of their sons and daughters.
Before you enter mediation, you need to discuss with your lawyer all the issues that will be discussed in mediation: what are the issues in your case; what are the marital assets/liabilities; what are your and your spouse's separate property claims; alimony or spousal support; child issues (legal custody, physical custody, other child related matters); your settlement positions be-your initial settlement positions and your range of settlement options.
Divorce mediation is a process where you and your spouse hire a third party, typically a lawyer, a trained mediator who is not a lawyer, co parent counselor, or a retired judge who serves as a neutral party. The mediator's role is to facilitate a settlement of the issues between you and your spouse by talking with each of you together and separately and giving ideas on how to solve your issues.