Find Mediators Near You:

Who Can I Bring To Custody Mediation?

Walking into custody mediation can feel intimidating. You’ll have to speak openly about what you believe is best for your child in front of your ex and a mediator whom you’ve only recently met. Bringing someone with you can give you the confidence you’ll need to actively participate. 

The following are some of the people you may bring to custody mediation for support if your mediator allows it.

A lawyer

If you hire a lawyer, they’ll help you throughout the custody mediation process.

Your lawyer will make sure you’re prepared and know what to expect. Once mediation begins, they may ask you how much you’d like them to take part. Some lawyers sit outside of the mediation room and only get involved when their client needs guidance. Others take a more active approach and speak on their client’s behalf.

If mediation results in an agreement with the other parent, your lawyer can review it to ensure the terms are fair and write it up into a court-ready document.

A licensed legal paraprofessional

Legal paraprofessionals are non-lawyers who work in law. In some places, licensed legal paraprofessionals can represent clients in custody mediation. They’ll help you understand what’s going on and answer legal questions you have.

An attorney ad litem

Attorneys ad litem work for people who can’t represent themselves, like adults with disabilities and children. In some places, they may attend custody mediation to help shape the agreement. They’ll make sure the terms are in the child’s best interest and work for your unique situation.

A guardian ad litem

If a guardian ad litem (GAL) is part of your custody case, they may attend the mediation to represent the child. They’ll make sure the child’s best interest is at the forefront of custody discussions. Plus, they’ll have a say in the terms of the agreement and can oppose it if they don’t think it will benefit the child.

A friend or relative

Mediation can be emotionally taxing. The presence of a friend or relative who understands what you’ve gone through makes the process more manageable. The friend or relative can’t participate in the discussions, but they may speak to you during breaks, help you keep documents organized, etc. You should not bring romantic partners or children with you to mediation.

Mediation shouldn’t be scary

Don’t let the intimidating aspects of mediation distract you from the many benefits. Lean on friends, family and professionals for support if you’re feeling uneasy. Even the mediator can be a helpful figure. It’s their job is to be impartial and try to make the process comfortable for all participants. They can help if you have questions or concerns.

If your situation is appropriate for mediation, give it a try before counting yourself out.

author

Zarira Love

In her three years of researching and writing for Custody X Change, Zarira Love has distilled the topics of child custody and parenting to make vital information accessible to all parents. She earned a BA in Creative Writing from SUNY Purchase College and currently resides in New York City. MORE

Featured Members

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

A Works Progress Administration Act for Mediators?

California mediators, listen up!  Your legislature is working for you (and for the AAA).    Thanks to the Institue for Conflict Management Blog (h/t to Diane Levin) for hipping us to Senate Bill...

By Victoria Pynchon
Category

Underlying Causes

A mediator at a study group I sometimes attend raised a good point about the limits of most mediators' expertise.  He wondered whether it is even a good idea to...

By Joe Markowitz
Category

What You Need to Know About Dispute Resolution

Disputing Blog by Karl Bayer, Victoria VanBuren, and Holly Hayes The American Bar Association (ABA) Guide to Dispute Resolution Processes is designed to educate members of the public about dispute...

By Victoria VanBuren
×