Child Support and Joint Custody

Divorce Mediation Long Island

 

Win-Win Divorce Solutions is one of the only Long Island divorce mediation firms that offers an impartial co-mediation experience with mediators who have training in both law and social work.

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Long Island, New York, follows a four-season weather pattern. Summers are generally hot and humid, while winters can get frigid and often see substantial snowfall. Temperatures in July average in the mid-eighties, with Nassau County, which has a denser population and is closer to New York City, commonly a little warmer than Suffolk County. Most people choose to visit Long Island’s famous beaches, like Fire Island, Jones Beach, and Montauk Point in July and August, and the waters of the Atlantic Ocean are usually warm enough for swimming from June to September. Some beach towns and attractions are closed in the wintertime, when temperatures can drop to an average low of 17 degrees F. Autumn is a wonderful time of year to sightsee on Long Island, with highs in the 70s and lows in the mid-50s and dropping as the end of the year approaches. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year. Average rainfall is 3-4 inches monthly, and averages 25-35 inches annually, although parts of the island sometimes see more than 75 inches of annual snowfall. Long Island is sometimes vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical cyclones.

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What is Divorce Mediation?

What is Divorce Mediation?

In Long Island divorce mediation, you and your spouse hire a neutral third party, called a divorce mediator, to meet with you in an effort to discuss and resolve the issues in your divorce.

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Benefit of Mediation vs. Litigation

Benefit of Mediation vs. Litigation

Most divorces are long, extensive & expensive. Divorce mediation Long Island by contrast, can reach a compromise in 6 – 8 sessions & for a fraction of a typical divorce.

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Why Choose Us to Mediate?

Why Choose Us to Mediate?

Win-Win Divorce Solutions is one of the only Long Island divorce mediation firms that offers an impartial co-mediation experience with mediators who have training in both law and social work.

Read More

DIVORCE MEDIATION LONG ISLAND COVID-19 SAFETY

For your safety, our divorce mediation sessions are also able to be provided on https://zoom.us.  Zoom is an online digital video meeting, chat & virtual conference room software. It is very easy to use & is very much like meeting in person. You connect to the meetings from the comfort & safety of your own home or office.

Child Support and Joint Custody

Determining a custody arrangement is one of the most difficult aspects of any divorce. Both parents want what’s best for the child, and both want to remain in the child’s life. Of course they may not agree on the details of custody and child support, and if that’s the case, the parents have options.

One, they can each hire an attorney and fight out the details of custody in court, allowing a judge to make the final determination. It can be an adversarial process involving court appearances, bickering lawyers, exorbitant legal fees, and a span of many months or sometimes years before custody agreements are reached.

Worst of all, your child or children will be involved in the process, required to speak in court or to attorneys, which can be stressful. They can become privy to details about your situation and issues that you’d rather they didn’t know.

There is an alternative to taking your custody case to court.

With divorce mediation/ custody mediation, parents sit down with a mediator in the peace and privacy of our office and agree on a parenting plan, amount of child support, physical custody, legal custody, visitation, and other details. The difference between mediation and court is that with mediation, the goal is a custody plan that benefits everyone. Instead of a lawyer fighting for a “win” for their client in family court, the mediator helps both parent arrive at a solution where everyone wins.

long-island-divorce-mediation
Divorce Mediation Long Island

What is joint custody?

Joint custody usually refers to joint legal custody–an arrangement where parents share decision-making authority for the child. That means one parent cannot make import decisions about education, health care, extracurricular activities, and similar without the agreement of the other parent. To make these types of arrangements work, parents must be willing to communicate and compromise, and each party must trust the other.

Joint custody can also refer to shared physical custody or residential custody–who the child will live with and when. While it’s typical for the child to live with the custodial parent while the other parent has visitation rights, it’s also possible to create an arrangement where the child lives with both parents equally. The important thing to remember is that legal custody and physical custody are separate issues.

Rules vary by state, but a judge may not grant joint custody in a contested hearing. In the best interests of the child, the court will not want to give shared custody to parents who it sees cannot get along. The court will likely award custody–residential, legal, or both–to one parent. It may also give one parent physical custody while the other retains some decision-making rights, etc.

Child custody mediation gives parents much more control over custody, since both of you agree on the arrangements.

Advantages of Custody Mediation

Privacy

One advantage of child custody mediation as that your affairs and the details of the divorce are kept out of the public eye. Cases in the family court system can become a matter of public record, which most people don’t want and would be smart to avoid.

Speed

With mediation, an agreement can be reached in as little as one or two months, depending on your individual needs. Battles involving lawyers can drag out much longer, sometimes even for years. Obviously it’s advantageous for both parent and child to move beyond these proceedings as soon as possible so they can get back to their lives.

Cost

One of the biggest benefits of mediation is the cost. It can be much less expensive than litigation, while still fostering an attorney client relationship, providing legal advice, filing documents, and all the other legal services you would expect from an attorney. In addition, mediators trained in social work address your emotional needs and facilitate the agreement, all for half the cost… sometimes less.

Interests of the Child

There’s no question that mediation is easier on children. They are spared the messy details of the divorce, they are spared being interrogated by dueling attorneys, and they are spared witnessing their parents fighting it out. In addition, children can regain the security of knowing what their living situation will be and returning to their normal routine much sooner with mediation. Keeping children out of the courts and removed from parental differences and issues is much less stressful.

Peace of Mind

Separation and divorce are difficult and stressful for parents and children. One way to alleviate some of the tension associated with custody and child support matters is by keeping them out of the courts. Your mediator will foster a much calmer environment and encourage communication and cooperation. It’s a much less hostile method than a battle in the courts, and one that can facilitate an agreement that works for everyone–parents and children. Since your family will be living with the child support and custody agreement for years to come, isn’t it better to arrive at those terms from a place of calm and compromise than antagonism?

Your mediator is also highly trained to address the emotional needs of parents and children during this difficult time.

Divorce Mediation Long Island Signed Divorce Papers

What Can the Mediation Process Define?

You might wonder if the child custody and child support agreement you reach with the mediator is legally valid, and the answer is yes. Your team includes a lawyer well versed in family law and ready to tackle things from a legal angle and answer any legal questions you might have. At the end of mediation, your agreement becomes part of your Divorce Packet and is signed by both parties and filed. Mediation can address almost any custody disagreements, including the following:

Child Support

In family law, child support is a sensitive topic. Every case is unique, but Win-Win will help parents determine child support payments according to the law and the family finances, as well as your wishes. In most cases–95 percent of the time–we can assist you with child support matters and reach an understanding without resorting to costly and stressful litigation.

Living Arrangements

Win-Win will work with each parent and the child or children to determine physical (residential) custody–where the child will live. Terms of residential custody tie in closely with child support, as it’s common for a child to live with a parent while the other provides child support, but again, every case is different and involves multiple variables. Our goal is to arrive at the best outcome for the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent, and the child or children. Even if you think you cannot agree, a mediator may find a way to make your living arrangements work that you never imagined. The sooner parents and children can establish these arrangements and return to a normal routine, the less the family will be subjected to stress and uncertainty.

Visitation

In many cases, a child will live with the custodial parent, while the other parent pays child support and is granted visitation. Establishing parenting time is an important aspect of child custody, and it can be complicated, considering parent work schedules, travel between residences, schooling, and any extracurricular activity children participate in. In addition to establishing residence and support, Win-Win will provide the information parents need to establish a visitation schedule for the child or children that is convenient and fair. Because of their training and experience, mediators can offer tips and ideas parents may not know are options.

Decision-making Rights

In child custody, residence and living arrangement can be separate from decision-making rights, or legal custody. Even if a parent is paying child support, that parent may not be granted the authority to make decisions for the child with regards to education, medical matters, religion, and similar. With joint custody, the idea is that parents discuss and agree on important decisions affecting the child or children. This means a cooperative situation at least until the child reaches legal adulthood, possibly longer if the child will attend college and a parent (or both) will financially support that endeavor. Agreeing to joint custody of a child means the parent will be in contact with the other parent frequently and for an extended period of time. It’s separate from residence and child support and must be determined and agreed upon. Mediation is ideal for a parent wanting joint custody of a child, because it lays the groundwork for effective communication and compromise with the other parent from the beginning.

Is Child Custody Mediation Right For Us?

Every situation is different, but if you and your spouse wish to maintain an amicable relationship and you both enter the mediation process with open minds and a willingness to compromise, drafting a custody agreement through mediation can spare your family the pain, embarrassment of a long fight for custody in the court system.

Even if you are afraid you and your partner will never agree, mediation might be worth a try. Mediators might be able to propose solutions to your child custody disagreements that neither of you even considered.

Mediation does not always work, but at Win-Win, we have over a 95 percent success rate. We highly suggest all clients exhaust every possible option in coming to child support agreements/custody agreements before resorting to litigation in court. If you must turn to litigation, issues like child support and visitation may be out of your hands. Mediation allows you to keep control of these important decisions and create a system as unique as your family–and will benefit all of you.

By choosing Win-Win you will get the support of a caring and empathetic staff who is trained in social work, versed in legal matters, experienced in effective communication, and most of all, passionate about helping people with custody child support and everything it involves.

If you need further information about mediation and how it can help you reach a child support agreement you can both live with, call or email the office today to set up a free consultation.

Divorce Mediation Long Island Signed Divorce Papers

Visit one of our two convenient Long Island Divorce Mediation locations:

Let us put our divorce mediation expertise to work for you in
Hauppauge Long Island:

Divorce Mediation Long Island Hauppauge Office Location:

Win-Win Divorce Solutions, LLC – Long Island Divorce Mediation
150 Motor Parkway
Center Suite 401-501
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Let us put our divorce mediation expertise to work for you in
Lake Success Long Island:

Divorce Mediation Long Island Lake Success Office Location:

Win-Win Divorce Solutions, LLC – Long Island Divorce Mediators
1979 Marcus Ave.
Suite 210
Lake Success, NY 11042