lawyers reading documentThis is the next post in a series of articles discussing changing child custody arrangements in Little Rock, Arkansas. The previous post in this series explained what parents can expect during a child custody trial. It also stressed the importance of retaining a law firm with experience handling litigation. Doing so can help ensure that valuable evidence is not excluded from your case due to inadvertent violations of the rules of evidence. These rules can be complicated and are strictly enforced during trials. In this post, we will discuss private mediation as an alternative to the litigation process. If you need assistance, contact us today to schedule a consultation with an attorney.

Mediation is the process by which both parties to a legal dispute communicate and negotiate through a mediator, often an attorney, in order to resolve their disagreement. The mediator’s job is to facilitate conversations between the parents so that they avoid the time, expense, and stress that often accompanies traditional litigation. Mediation can be used to decide issues such as divorce settlements, child custody, child support, spousal support, and child visitation. It can be particularly valuable in cases where one parent desires to modify an existing custody order. Private mediation should be distinguished from mediation that may be ordered by Arkansas courts as part of the litigation process. Court-ordered mediation, while potentially helpful, is often limited to a single disputed issue, such as ongoing visitation rights. Private mediation, on the other hand, allows parents to address all of the relevant issues at once, with the help of a trained legal professional.

When a requested change in custody is disputed by the other parent, the hearings and trial that follow can be extremely contentious. A lengthy legal proceeding can be difficult for all parties involved, including children whose routine is interrupted and whose stability is threatened while the case is pending. Mediation, on the other hand, gives parents the opportunity to avoid litigation and take control of their own outcome through compromise. A mediator is trained to approach any given situation with impartiality. They help the parties resolve open issues calmly and rationally. A skilled mediator will suggest solutions that parents had not previously considered. Given the potential benefits over litigation, the process should be a consideration for any family facing a custody modification dispute.

Our office offers private mediation services to clients who are open to the process and who want to avoid costly and stressful litigation. Contact our office today to speak with a Little Rock lawyer. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff, and throughout the rest of Arkansas.