When feasible, mediation is always a better option that going back to court in a custody case. Mediation is a confidential process that allows the parties to control their dispute.
When issues involving your children are contested in a custody case, a family court judge will typically decide how this dispute will be resolved. In many cases, the family court judge will make a decision based upon the testimony and evidence presented at a trial. This means that a decision that affects your children for years will be based upon a few hours in a courtroom. Unfortunately, it is often the case that parties walk away from a custody trial feeling frustrated and angry at the court’s decision.
The parents know their children and their needs best. Therefore, it makes sense for the parents to resolve custody disputes on their own when possible. Judges have a limited amount of time to conduct a family court trial, and you may feel that you were unable to tell the judge all of the important facts in your case.
Mediation is also a private process. Mediators cannot be called to testify as witnesses in the case, and discussions in mediation cannot be used by one party against another in a trial. You may fully discuss your case with a mediator without fear of it hurting your case. However, family court trials are public events. Generally, anyone may observe your trial, and in many areas, family court records are searchable on Internet databases.