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How Are Child Custody Disputes Resolved Without Going to Court?

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By Liz B. Gatsby
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How are child custody disputes resolved in court

Child custody disputes are one of the most contentious and stressful areas of family law. It can be difficult to resolve custody issues, but there are several options available to resolve these cases without having to go to court.

Mediation is a process where a neutral third party (usually a retired judge) hears both parties’ arguments and makes a decision. It is often faster and less expensive than going to trial.

Mediation

If you have a dispute over child custody and you’re looking for an alternative to court, mediation may be the right option for you. This process can be very cost-effective and can also help to settle issues in a less hostile environment than a courtroom.

In addition to being less expensive than going to court, mediation also typically allows the parties involved to have more control over how their case is handled and how it is resolved. This can be a huge advantage in many cases.

Mediation is a confidential method of conflict resolution that helps to keep the parents involved focused on finding an agreement that works for their situation and their children. While this process is not without its risks, it can be a highly effective means of resolving disputes.

Before attending a mediation session, you should prepare all of the necessary information and documents. This will make the mediator’s job easier and allow them to focus on what matters most to you.

Trial

Child custody disputes are the likeliest to end up in court. This is because of the emotional nature of these cases, which often involve children as one of the last ties that remain between a parent and another.

The Court uses the best interests of the child as the guiding principle in all custody matters. This means that a parent who has shown that they can foster a relationship with their child and promote his or her overall well-being is more likely to be awarded custody.

Typically, parents will present their case through the testimony of witnesses and other evidence. This is a very fast-paced process, and it is important that both parties put their best foot forward.

Arbitration

Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution in which two parties agree to submit their case to a neutral decision-maker, called an arbitrator. This alternative to litigation is typically less formal than court hearings, and often allows the parties to resolve their issues more quickly.

During arbitration proceedings, both parties present their arguments and evidence to the arbitrator. The arbitrator will then make a decision based on this information.

In New Jersey, the Supreme Court requires that all arbitrations involving child custody and parenting time issues be accompanied by a “complete record.” This means that all documentary evidence must be recorded verbatim and the arbitrator must state in writing his/her findings of fact and conclusions of law with a focus on the best interests standard.

Moreover, if there is a finding that an arbitrator’s award harmed the child, the courts will overturn it. This is a higher burden than the usual “best interest” standard because it is not sufficient for a parent to simply disagree with the arbitrator’s decision.

Settlement

When a dispute occurs over child custody, the court looks to what is in the best interests of the children. This includes determining what type of custody is appropriate and how much time each parent should spend with their child.

In some cases, the parents may reach an agreement through the process of mediation. Mediation can be a relatively painless and inexpensive way to settle a custody dispute without the need for a costly and lengthy court battle.

If a parent decides to go through with mediation, they will create a custody settlement agreement that is binding on the parties. This settlement can be used to prevent any future litigation from occurring.

Although it is important to note that any settlement agreement can be challenged in court if the party decides to do so. However, this can be a lengthy and expensive process that may not always result in an acceptable outcome for the party seeking to challenge it.

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