Mediation is an informal and confidential way for people to resolve disputes with the help of a neutral person (mediator) who is trained to help people discuss their differences. The mediator does not decide who is right or wrong. Instead, the mediator helps the parties work out their own solutions to problems. One of the greatest benefits of mediation is that it allows people to resolve disputes in a friendly way and in ways that meet their own unique needs. Also, disputes can be resolved faster through mediation.
As a mediator in high conflict custody cases I have assisted parents in resolving complex child custody issues. Parents who resolve conflicts over their child using a mediator not only save thousands of dollars, they also minimize future conflicts that can hurt their children. Confidential mediation usually does not involve attorneys or the court. There is strict confidentiality that prevents using information from the mediation process in court. When mediation does not work the parties can petition the court to order a custody/evaluation. During the custody evaluation process interviews are conducted with relevant parties including children and recommendations are made to assist the court in determining a child-sharing/child custody agreement that is best for the children. In my experience working with families that have special a need child, the court is not the best arbiter of what’s best for the child.